Mothers and Jubilee Year Of Mercy: An Exposition
There are many calls from God, amongst them is Motherhood. It is a divine grace which no one can confer to oneself except by God alone. It is equally a call to love and serve as well as show mercy. Mother is a female parent whom nature has masterly endowed with enviable responsibility of bearing children; ensure continuity not only in family lineage, but also continuity of life. Continuity of life is mostly assured through rendering mercy to people and this is what God achieved in our Mother Mary who is our Model (Mother per Excellence).
The year 2016 had been declared an extra-ordinary Jubilee year of mercy of God. The declaration took place at Basilica on 8th of December, 2015. This year of mercy, and mothers require this brief exposition under the following subheadings;
- Meaning of mercy
- Who is merciful?
- Two dimensions of mercy
- The heart of mercy
- Daily practices for achieving holiness
WHAT IS MERCY (EBERE)?
Mercy means to have pity, show kindness, to act compassionately and disposition to do good. It is forgiveness, benevolence, altruistic, and charity shown in a variety of ways in relation to legal, religious, ethical and social contexts. It is a spiritual reward one gains for being kind in response to an unkind gesture. Thus, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt.5:7). Mercy, is love shown to undeserved ones, for love and they have no claim to our love. This is to say that they deserve our rejection.
They do not love, they reject our love and it is this group of people that we own mercy. Mercy is a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion and if possible to alleviate another’s misfortune. It is always used in the sense of compassion for the miserable. He who shows mercy is said to be merciful. Mothers should strive to show mercy for they are instrument for that and the blessing awaits them.
DIMENSIONS OF MERCY
Heaven is our target and it is possible to attain heaven. Mothers should therefore work for it in other to attain heaven.
Mercy has found me here because you need to make a step to see Him. It is in your hand to encounter Jesus. If you encounter Him, your life will change. Identify the areas of mercy around you and be merciful. Areas of mercy are grouped into dimensions which are the different ways we can encounter Him for us to obtain mercy. They are;
SEVEN CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
- To feed the hungry
- To give drink to the thirsty
- To cloth the naked
- To harbor the harbourless
- To visit the sick
- To visit the imprisoned
- To bury the dead
SEVEN SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
- To convert the sinner
- To instruct the ignorant
- To counsel the doubtful
- To comfort the sorrowful
- To bear wrongs patiently
- To forgive injuries
- To pray for the living and the dead
Adequate performance of the above makes one to obtain favour from God. The main issue in exercising mercy is regarded as ‘heart’ of mercy. What exactly is it?
HEART OF MERCY
What comes in mercy is forgiveness and it is very difficult to forgive. Jesus is asking you to forgive he who has offended you. It is absolute necessity that you must forgive because you are forgiving the person not for his or her own good, but your own need. There is nothing you are suffering that you do not have any person suffering more than you. Keep on praying. On the cross and in pains, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”.
When you forgive, it does not mean that you have forgotten it. In forgiving, you are saying that you are no longer responsible to dominate my life. If a soul does not exercise mercy, it will not obtain any mercy.
Avoid sleeping over an argument, settle it immediately. Forgive others yourself because God has forgiven you. It is in forgiveness that we find our human nature. The behavior of the prodigal son teaches us forgiveness and love. Some people nurture unforgiveness for a long time. Allow the Holy Spirit to touch you so that you can forgive others. To air is human but to forgive is divine. Prayer is a refuge for everyone. Prayer for asking for forgiveness is granted by God (Psalm 51). We should always try to achieve holiness. What do we do to achieve this?
DAILY PRACTICES FOR ACHIEVING HOLINESS
Mothers should endeavour to do the following;
- Read The Bible Everyday: There is power in the word of God
- Say the Rosary Everyday: Through Mary our Mother We Succeed (that is through Mary, with Mary and in Mary, We Succeed). Rosary is a strong army against hell.
- Do the will of God every day, everywhere and every time.
- Go to confession
- Pray every morning and night. Pray together in your family. Make your family a place of prayer. There is power in family prayer then individual prayer.
- Examination of your conscience before you go to bed
- Read life of the Saints
- Attend Mass every day. It is the sacrifice of the Mass that sustains the world. Mass is the most Holy act of the religion.
- Create an intense moment of prayer in your life.
Oh, Mother Mary, we belong to you entirely and not that we possess with us your entire qualities. You are our model. We therefore request you to give us your heart of love, humility, prayer, service and may we continue to live and praise you although our lives for meriting heaven.
Through Mary Our Mother, We Succeed!!!
Lady Dr. Ify Felicity Okoro, (JP, LSJI)
St. Michaels Catholic Parish Amakohia Uratta, Owerri.