The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

This year we have been called to celebrate in a special way God’s love for us to help us survive the storms of life.

These storms arrive at our shores when we destroy ourselves and our relationships with others and with God. But at times we find ourselves in turmoil simply because others in our family and in our community make choices we find difficult to understand and tolerate.

These choices reveal deep religious, ideological, or political differences and strain and even break family and community bonds. Indeed, they challenge our belief that we all share in God’s love and we are all God’s children.

In those instances, we tend to ascribe the worse intentions to others and the best to ourselves. We overlook the possibility that others in our community perceived something of value in an idea we disapprove or a person we dislike.

All choices or positions – ours as well as those of others – are laden with strong emotional feelings that tend to blind us of the good in choices other than our own. Most importantly, the emotions of the day may also blind us of what holds us together, God’s unconditional love for all of us.

We cannot, of course, simply sweep aside our differences, but cutting off relationships does not solve the problems we face.

In this Year of Mercy and throughout life, we are called to look beyond our differences in ideas and decisions made by others and preserve the community we form and hold dear.

Our survival depends on our staying together as a community – be it family or work or local or national community – because, at bottom, we are all children of God.

God has shared his love with all of us precisely so we can survive the storms that batter and divide us.