Cardinal John’s Newsletter 23 November 2017

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From +John…

Dear Friends
On the Solemnity of Christ the King last year I was priv-ileged to be at a Mass in St Peter’s Square, the closing Mass for the Year of Mercy. At the end of the Mass Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera. In that letter, he told us that while the Year of Mercy might have finished “Now it is time to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of God’s mercy, Let us not sadden the Spirit, who con-stantly points out new paths to take in bringing to eve-ryone the Gospel of salvation.” (MM5) This is a won-derful Letter and it is worth reflecting on, praying with and then acting on. It can easily be found by going online and searching for Misericordia et Misera.

The Holy Father reminded the world that “the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters.” (MM 16) He then went on to tell us that he had the idea that the Church might celebrate, on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the World Day of the Poor. That of course was last Sunday for us. All parishes were sent a video to be played which encouraged us to create a “culture of encounter” with the poor in our society. Just as the Year of Mercy continues by our living MERCY, so last Sunday was not just one day to give a little thought to the poor and then to be forgotten about. There are homeless on our streets, there are people who struggle to make ends meet, there are families who cannot afford medical care, who cannot educate their children; there are endless opportunities for us to encounter the poor and reach out a helping hand. “We are called to promote a culture of mercy based on the rediscovery of encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sis-ters.” (MM 20)

Last Sunday was the first World Day of the Poor and this coming Sunday it is a year since Pope Francis wrote this powerful letter and released it in the Solemnity of Christ the King. This Sunday we will hear the words in the Mass about Jesus presenting to God the Father “A kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” We help build that Kingdom by the way we care for the poor.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.