This year, Gesu Parish has embraced a Corporal Works of Mercy theme. Each month, the parish will select on a different issue and provide activities for you and your family to incorporate into your daily lives. (Click here to read more about Gesu's Year of Mercy and their annual One Book, One Parish selection Mercy in the City, by Kerry Webber)
April - Care of Creation
In his September 2016 message, Show Mercy to Our Common Home, Pope Francis introduced an eighth work of mercy: Care for our Common Home. As he explained, this “new” work is a necessary complement to and extension of the traditional seven corporal and spiritual works.
Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name.
To paraphrase Saint James, “We can say that mercy without works is dead…In our rapidly changing and increasingly globalized world, many new forms of poverty are appearing. In response to them, we need to be creative in developing new and practical forms of charitable outreach as concrete expressions of the way of mercy.”
The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. “We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counseling and forgiveness…But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”
Obviously, [this] includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home…As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.”
According to Pope Francis, this work of mercy requires that we change course, individually and globally, and to keep as he states, “the original commandment to preserve creation from all harm, both for our sake and for the sake of our fellow human beings. A single question can keep our eyes fixed on the goal: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’”
A Prayer for Our Common Home
O God of the poor,
Help to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes.
God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth.
God of mercy, may we receive you forgiveness and convey your mercy throughout our common home.
Praise be to you!
What does Gesu Parish do?
- Gesu is a Member Institution of the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), a national social justice education and advocacy organization. ISN mobilizes a network which:
• Provides resources to Jesuit ministries engaging in social justice education and advocacy.
• Engages thousands of individuals affiliated with the Ignatian family to be lifelong contemplative advocates for the common good.
• Partners with faith-based and civic organizations committed to justice, peace and care for our common home.
• Promotes solidarity with the poor – especially in the Americas – among Jesuit ministries.
- Gesu is part of InterReligious Task Force on Central America's Rapid Response Network (IRTF's RRN) and we sponsor their letter writing campaigns, Social Justice Teach-Ins and Kemerovo Commemoration of the Martyrs. IRTF is a Cleveland-based interfaith group that promotes peace, human rights, economic justice, and organizes aid to Central America and Colombia.
What can you do?
• Due to the pandemic Gesu will not host a Fair Trade Festival in McAuley Hall this spring. We encourage parishioners to shop online or in store at the vendors listed in the flyer found here > Also, mark your calendars and shop at the October 23, 2021 Fair Trade Expo at John Carroll University.
• Attend Gesu’s Care for our Common Home Conversation via Zoom on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 7:00 pm. Click here to register.
• We will look at Gesu’s past Education, Advocacy & Action Committee’s work and seek YOUR input for ideas and thoughts on what Gesu can do going forward (outreach projects, speakers, a new committee, etc.)
• Carry a bag with you and collect trash when you’re out for a walk.
• Calculate your carbon footprint at www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ and take action to reduce it.