Let’s Read Together – Again!
For the fourth year, Gesu is promoting a book for parish-wide engagement: Mercy in the City, by Kerry Weber. We hope you enjoy
Weber’s story of exploring the challenges and rewards that accompany a lay Catholic trying to practice the Works of Mercy in a bustling city of eight million people. Weber’s humorous but authentic experiences became opportunities to better understand what mercy is really all about and to grow in love of God and others.
We will offer discussions and special programming featuring this newest book selection. Watch the bulletin and e-Newsletter for announcements of these activities. Copies of this book will be available this month for a donation of $5. You may pick up a copy inside church entrances and there is an envelope for your donation. Copies are also available in the parish office. Happy reading!
A GESU YEAR OF MERCY
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
In April of 2015, Pope Francis announced that the Jubilee Year – from the first Sunday of Advent on December 8, 2015, through Feast of Christ the King, celebrated on November 20, 2016 – would be a Year of Mercy. At the general audience on October 12, 2016, Francis expanded on his reasoning for the Jubilee Year. From the initial moments of his papacy, Francis had declared that mercy would be the focus of his tenure as pope. The impetus of this theme is the visceral belief for Francis, and the dogmatic instruction for us, that Jesus is the Incarnation of Mercy. As he plainly stated to the people gathered in St. Peter’s Square that day, “it is not enough to experience God’s mercy in one’s life; whoever receives it must also become a sign and instrument for others. Mercy, therefore, is not only reserved for particular moments, but it embraces our entire daily existence.” And it isn’t something that was to have been practiced for that one year, now six years ago.
Pope Francis challenged and continues to challenge us to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus. Again, in his statement on October 12, 2016, Francis stressed this message: “Jesus says that every time we give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked and welcome the foreigner, visit the sick or imprisoned, we do the same to him (cf. Mt 25:31-46). The Church calls these actions 'Corporal Works of Mercy,' because they assist people with their material necessities.”
In these unprecedented and trying times, we must turn to the others who are struggling amid the fears and complications of the coronavirus and push ourselves again, with intent and compassion, to be Christ to others.
In that light, the community of Gesu will have a year of mercy - a year of service. Many of our parishioners regularly practice the Corporal Works of Mercy as outlined and understood in Matthew 25. Maybe it is such second nature to them that they do not recognize or realize that they are simply and effortlessly treating others with the compassion to which we are all called and by which we will all be judged.
This year, with intent, the Gesu community will bring the Corporal Works of Mercy into our minds through the instruction and discussion of the book Mercy in the City, by Kerry Weber (available at Gesu), and into our hearts by intentionally caring for those in need. We will read various articles and reflections in the bulletin and online, be invited to participate in planned works of mercy through service, and encourage each other to continue the good works that are being done day in and day out.
When you finally stand before God, will he invite you to stand on His left or on His right? Do you recognize Him when you do these little things for the least of His children?
Come. Walk this year with your fellow parishioners as we strive to become the people we are called to be.