We join the Universal Church today in opening an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. God is calling people of goodwill to join us in sharing with each other the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that God has generously shown to us. As this great Jubilee Year begins on the Immaculate Conception, we have the opportunity ‘to contemplate the mystery of mercy that is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace.’ (2)
Mary’s Immaculate Conception opens for us a new way of being human. Here is a woman who from the moment of her conception was meant for the Lord. She stayed close to Him and is even now whispering her prayer into His Ears. We have been chosen to love Him more by seeing His Face in the face of the unforgiving, the alienated, the poorer, the sick and the lonely.
We have been chosen to offer an alternative to our present way of life, to be less possessive and more giving, more relational and less alienating. We are chosen to live like those who have hope, rooted in the fact that Jesus is the risen Son of God.
Mary’s yes to God’s plan in her life undoes the disobedience of Adam and Eve and makes heaven a possibility for us all. That is why Our Lady, Undoer of Knots is so powerful an image for us. If we allow her to take hold of the Knots we tie so tightly, she will undo them for us, clearing our way to forgiveness and mercy.
‘In order to receive mercy, my friends, we need to ask for forgiveness and this can only be achieved on our knees in the silence of the confessional.’ With this singular act of humility we give witness to the power of Pentecost, the rejuvenation by the Holy Spirit of our lives as Christians that enables us dispense what we ourselves have been given: a life filled with joy, serenity and peace.
As we begin the Jubilee year then let us echo with the Pope our trust in the Mother of Mercy. ‘May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness.- (24)