Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
On December 8 Pope Francis walked through the Holy doors, a symbolic action that inaugurated the Year of Mercy. Mercy and forgiveness are available 24/7 and the church and her sacraments are open for business throughout the year, not just during special occasions. This special year perhaps highlights a ministry of the church and by means of this emphasis will help all men and women come to realize that great compassion and love of humanity by God is God’s greatest gift. Today’s readings challenge the expectation we might have, believing that a perfect score in life, coming in under par in terms of the major sins, gets you a better seat at the eternal banquette. The shock of Jesus’ words are still somewhat shocking to us today: That people who have really made a mess of their lives still have access to the eternal banquette, even a nice place. By moving their hearts and minds away from what has taken them from God and towards that love of God that has been so beautifully imagined in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, these people can come to live in the love of God.
Part of our walk with the universal church during this year of mercy could be a rededication of our lives to the reality of the merciful heart of Christ, and in particular that apostolate given to the Society of Jesus by the papacy to help men and women move towards the heart of Christ. The Apostleship of Prayer, in order to assist us in moving towards fulfillment of the divine plan, has a very nice web page: http://apostleshipofprayer.org/