Fr Bob Writes – January 31, 2016

The gospel this weekend is a continuation of the story from last Sunday where Jesus reads these following words from the prophet Isaiah and declares they apply to him:

`The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to set the oppressed free, to declare a year of favour from the Lord`

These words are an excellent description of what the gift of mercy looks like. Remembering that we are still in the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis and beginning last December 8th, here are some more words from our pope about the role of the Church in being an agent of God`s mercy. They were given during an address on March 6th, 2014:

`Today, we can think of the Church as a `field hospital`. Excuse me, but I repeat it, because this is how I see it, how I feel it is: a `field hospital`. Wounds need to be treated, so many wounds! So many wounds! There are so many people that are wounded by material problems, by scandals, also in the Church…People wounded by the world`s illusions…

  Mercy first means treating the wounds. When someone is wounded, he needs this immediately, not tests, such as the level of cholesterol and one`s glycemic index…Specialized treatments can be done, but first we need to treat the open wounds.

 I think this is what is most important at this time. And there are also hidden wounds, because there are people who distance themselves in order to avoid showing their wounds closer.“

Reflection: Ask yourself what wounds you see around you, who is hurting and who has distanced themselves from you or others. Ask yourself what you can do to respond to them with mercy immediately.