Feb. 2, 2016 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Wk 1 - Presentation of the Lord
There have been many times when I have visited families at their homes, that when I ring the bell at the front door I end up waiting for a couple of minutes before someone comes to the door. A family member reminds me that normally they do not use the front door. Rather they use the side door near the carport or garage. Now when I visit homes, I go straight to the carport or garage. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Our Lord has given us a special door straight to His Heart, that is His Mercy. For the Year of Mercy, cathedrals and special churches around the world including St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge and St. Michael’s in Convent have been designated with Holy Doors. Pope Francis said, “Going through the holy door is the sign of our trust in the Lord Jesus who did not come to judge, but to save.”
In today’s feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Mary and Joseph carried the child Jesus through the door of the Temple in Jerusalem and presented him. This is the day in which our Incarnate Savior encounters his believing people at the dwelling place of his Father. Later when Jesus begins his ministry, Jesus says of himself, “‘I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.’”
Just as Mary and Joseph offered Jesus to the Heavenly Father, we come today to offer ourselves to the Heavenly Father so that we may be merciful as He is merciful to us. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiveness is a willingness to abandon one’s right to resentment, negative judgment, and indifferent behavior toward one who unjustly injured us, while fostering the undeserved qualities of compassion, generosity, and even love toward him or her.
As we begin the Divine Mercy Novena today with Lent only a week away, we ask Our Lord to help us to enter into the door of His Heart of Mercy. It’s not enough that mercy and forgiveness remain beautiful words but must be realized in our daily life. The visible signs that faith has transformed our hearts are our willingness to forgive and be merciful.
-Fr. Paul Yi