'Have mercy as God the Father is' is the theme of the Church year for 2016. It opens on 8th December 15 and closes on 20th November 16. The concept of God of mercy is not new. It has its beginning in the book of the Exodus 34,6 when Yahweh reveals to Moses that he is God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger and rich in kindness and faithfulness. The year of Mercy is the calling to renew the mercy of God to mankind. It is a call to pay more attention at the Eucharist, the Penitential Rites, reminds us that God's Mercy is imparted at the beginning of creation to every generation. The history of salvation reveals that God has shown mercy on numerous of occasions. God shows mercy by sending Jesus to our world to call sinners, and we are on the fringe of the festive season to celebrate Christmas.
Jesus comes to heal the contrite. Jesus pleads for us at the right hand of the Father. Jesus gathers the nations into the peace of God's kingdom. Jesus comes in word and sacrament to strengthen us in holiness. Jesus comes in glory with salvation for God's people. Jesus comes to reconcile us to one another and to the Father. Jesus comes to heal the wounds of sin and division. Jesus comes to raise the dead to life in the Spirit. Jesus comes to bring pardon and peace to the sinner. Jesus comes to bring light to those in darkness. Jesus comes to feed us with His Body and Blood. Jesus comes to show us the way to the Father. Jesus comes to give us the consolation of the truth. Jesus comes to give us everlasting life.
God shows mercy because the nature of God is mercy and love. God's mercy is shown to the whole world but it is operative for the contrite of heart. It works in a two ways communication: give and take. Mercy is shown and accepted with repentant of the heart then joy is bursting forth. When we accept God's mercy by abandoning our former way of life and adopting God's radical way then our life is reborn. Our appearance may be the same but our inner lives have changed and that is a real change. Without internal change towards God; any external change would not be driven by God's mercy because God's mercy works from inside out. It begins with the heart as prophet Ezekiel 36,24 tells us that changes begin at the heart.
I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead.
When a gift given is not being received it remains with its owner, and the gift received without using it the gift makes no affect on a receiver. Change happens when we receive the gif with joy and put it in operation. God's mercy and the spirit of God will activate in our lives and we are driven towards God's love and mercy.