His Mercy Endures Forever!

posted Apr 28, 2016, 6:13 AM by Friar Suppliers   [ updated Apr 28, 2016, 6:25 AM ]
Our Day of Grace on Divine Mercy Sunday was truly a DAY OF GRACE for everyone who attended and also (although unknown)  for all the souls who were prayed for by those who were in attendance.  Fr. Gabriel gave a beautiful sermon based on the story in the Bible; “the woman at the Well.” (John 4: 4-42).  I was glad that I took notes because he gave us a lot of thoughts to meditate on.  Here are some of his words of wisdom.

  • The woman at the well had no fear of others knowing her sins because Jesus offered her mercy.  I need to know better the gift of God which is His Mercy.
  • Self-knowledge is a gift from God.
  • I need to shift from thinking of myself to thinking of others.
  • How do I dispose my myself to take on something new; to become who God is calling me to be.?
  • God can make so much more of the little I might have.  Don’t underestimate what God can do.
  • There is a “pressure-cooker effect” in religious or family life.  In other words, God allows us to feel this pressure or stress to prompt us to seek His mercy. We not be afraid of it.

Br Rufino examined some of these questions when he shared his personal witness.

He asks himself these questions as he tries to live out religious life.  What is holiness?  And How do I become holy?  He said, “Self-reliance is the root of all seven deadly sins.”  We need to become humble and abandon our wills to God; to become docile like little children and trust in His Mercy.

The best part of Divine Mercy Sunday is always the confessions and praying in Eucharistic adoration.  His mercy is unfathomable.  We sincerely thank the Community of Franciscan Friars and Sisters or the Renewal for their vocations and ministry to all of us.

Recently, Our Holy Father Pope Francis published his Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation: “Amoris Letitia” (The joy of love)  It’s his thoughts which come after the conclusion of the past two years of the Synod on the Family.  You can read it on the Vatican website if you like. It is nine chapters long.  Over the next nine months I will try to highlight some of Pope Francis’ thoughts for all of you.

This Exhortation is timely because of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  It is an invitation to families to value the gifts of marriage and family.  It begins with the first chapter inspired by the Scriptures. Next it examines the actual situations of families today. He then gives some essential church teaching on marriage and the family with two chapters dedicated to love. The pope then offers some suggestions for building sound and fruitful homes according to God’s plan.  He spends a full chapter devoted to raising children.  Finally he offers an invitation to mercy for those that fall short of what the Lord demands of us and concludes with a discussion on family spirituality.  I think you will agree that this Exhortation speaks to all of us. So let’s begin.

In Chapter one, Our Holy Father quotes a lot of scripture from the old and new testament, where it speaks of marriage.  There is much to contemplate.  I will quote some of his words.

“Fruitful love becomes a symbol of God’s inner life.”

“The couple that loves and begets life is a true, living icon.”

“The couple’s fruitful relationship becomes an image for understanding and describing the mystery of God Himself, for the the Christian vision of the Trinity, God is contemplated as Father, Son and Spirit of Love.”

“A family’s living space could turn into a domestic church, a setting for the Eucharist, the presence of Christ seated at its table.”

“The family is thus the place where parents become their Children’s first teachers in the faith.”

“Parents have a serious responsibility for this work of education.”

“The word of God tells us that the family is entrusted to a man, a woman, and their children, so that they may become a communion of persons in the image of the union of the Father, the Son and the Holy ‘Spirit.  Begetting and raising children, for its part, mirrors God’s creative work.  “The family is called to join in daily prayer, to read the word of God and to share in Eucharistic communion, and thus to grow in love and become ever more fully a temple in which the Spirit dwells.”

“Every family should look to the icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth.”

“The treasury of Mary’s heart also contains the experiences of every family, which she cherishes.  For this reason, she can help us understand the meaning of these experiences and to hear the message God wishes to communicate through the life of our families.”

(Excerpts from Chapter one of “Amoris Letitia” by Pope Francis)

This May, we look to Our Lady as we celebrate Mother’s Day.  She is our image and role model for all of us to imitate.  May God bless all our mothers living and deceased and especially all those Moms on “active duty” bearing and raising children for the kingdom of God.  Happy Mother’s Day.

God bless all the young men who will be be ordained to the priesthood on May 28th in the NY diocese, five of whom are Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  Thank you for answering the call.