February 2016
Reflections of God's Goodness

We began the New Year reflecting on the Pope’s call to “live mercy”—to be mercy in the world. According to Pope Francis, mercy always begins in God’s overwhelming love for us. Each of us has been called by God through Baptism into this mission of love.

What a wonderful gift this ever-present love is—as God gently pulls us back and calls us “His beloved”. We fail over and over again, but God’s love is constant! Remembering our sinfulness in the face of God’s love begs us to respond by loving God in return. But what do we have to offer? God is so big and we are so little. Why would God be interested in having our love? I read not long ago that we show our love for God by loving others! Simple, right?

Well, I think that’s been God’s plan all along. God’s idea of love is mercy in action. God chooses to love us right where we are, in our failings and our wanderings. Gently God approaches us with His grace and mercy and whispers, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”

“Merciful like the Father” is the Pope’s call to action. This challenge says that mercy is love extended to those in need and to those in want, but also to those who are unlovable and those who have wronged us. Mercy is a tall order indeed!

Ash Wednesday is very near with its reminder of who we are and what we are about. “Repent and believe in the Gospel” reminds us to Pray, Fast, Give. With the Season of Lent comes special grace to repent and renew our lives. Let us take to heart the words from the Letter to the Colossians:

…whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

This is what transforms our acts of love into grace in the life of the people we encounter. We cannot know the impact of our touch, our smile, or our acts of kindness. Every person we meet needs our love. So transform what you are already doing for others by giving it to God as a love offering. Let us think of one small merciful action we can take each day—reach out, smile, give.

It is a wonderful thing to be God's faithful people.
We achieve fulfillment when we break down walls
and our heart is filled with faces and names!

Evangelii Gaudium, 274 Pope Francis

May the graces of this holy year bear fruit in your life as you seek to give back to God what He has given to you through your loving acts for the people you meet each day.

Happy Lent!

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Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
Director of Development

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