Bringing #Mercy2Earth, April 23, 2017
In his message “Show Mercy to our Common Home” Pope Francis named caring for our common home as a new act of mercy. Given Earth Day (April 22) and Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23) happen together on the same weekend, we highlight this new act of mercy as an integral part of Christian life.
As you begin, take a moment to remember that you are in the presence of our loving Creator. Offer a prayer for the grace to listen deeply to God’s word within you.
Reflection: Show Mercy to our Common Home
A New Work of Mercy
“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.”
“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 counsel 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 “human life itself and everything it embraces” 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 spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a “grateful contemplation of God’s world” (Laudato Si’, 214) which “allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us” (ibid., 85). 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” (ibid., 230-31).
PRAY for all directly impacted by the effects of climate change
…for the waters of the world,
…for Earth’s soil
…for all creatures
…for our brothers and sisters around the world
…for future generations
God of Creation, help us to respect, renew and show mercy to Earth.
STUDY Read Pope Francis’ message: “Show Mercy to our Common Home”
Explore the Mercy2Earth website
ACT Giving thanks for God’s mercy and the gift of creation, choose your act of mercy for our common home. See 30 Acts of Mercy for our Common Home for possibilities.