Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and forgiveness of sins.

<---The Glorified body in the Resurrection

In calling for this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to know the face of God's mercy — Jesus Christ Incarnate — and to show that face of mercy to the world through our words and actions.
“I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness.”
– Pope Francis


According to the Holy See, the origin of the Christian Jubilee goes back to Old Testament times. The Law of Moses prescribed a special year for the Jewish people (Lev 25:10-14). The trumpet with which this particular year was announced was a goat's horn, called Yobel in Hebrew, and the origin of the word "jubilee."
The celebration of this year also included the restitution of land to the original owners, the remission of debts, the liberation of slaves, and "rest" for the land, which was left fallow. In the New Testament, Jesus presents himself as the One who brings the old Jubilee to completion, because he has come to "preach the year of the Lord's favor" (Lk 4:18-19; see also Is 61:1-2).

The Holy See says that, in the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year or Jubilee is a great religious event, held roughly every 25 years, for the forgiveness of sins and the punishment due to sin. The Christian Jubilee tradition began with Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. Since that time, the Church has celebrated 26 ordinary and three extraordinary Jubilee Years.

A Jubilee is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, conversion, and a time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consequently, it is a time of solidarity, hope, justice, and commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee Year is, above all, the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity ("What is a Holy Year?" www.vatican.va).


Since the year 1300 when Pope Boniface VIII declared the first Holy Year, the Catholic Church has regularly celebrated “Holy Years,” usually every twenty-five years (at least since 1470), except for special circumstances, like in 1983 when a Holy Year was declared to mark the 1950th anniversary of the death and resurrection of our Lord. A major aspect of the Holy Year has been that of pilgrimage to Rome to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life.

A very important symbolic act performed by each pilgrim has been to pass through the Holy Door. Christ identified Himself as “the door.” In his bull Incarnationis Mysterium proclaiming this Holy Year, Pope John Paul II stated that the Holy Door “…evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish. Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. This designation which Jesus applies to Himself testifies to the fact that He alone is the Savior sent by the Father.
There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into this life of communion with God: This is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To Him alone can the words of the psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Psalm 118:20).”

Therefore to pass through the door from the outside of St. Peter’s into the basilica is to pass from this world into the presence of God, just as in the old Temple of Jerusalem, the High Priest on the Feast of Yom Kippur passed through the veil covering the doorway of the Holy of Holies to enter into the presence of God to offer the sacrifice of atonement.
Moreover, to pass through the door is to confess with firm conviction that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lord, and the Savior who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. With great courage, a person freely decides to cross the threshold leaving behind the kingdom of this world so as to enter the new life of grace of the Kingdom of God.

In opening the door, the Holy Father has traditionally struck the door three times with a silver hammer (although this year Pope John Paul II pushed three times on the door). The striking of the door also has symbolic meaning: Moses struck the rock so that water would pour out miraculously to quench the thirst of the people (Numbers 20:6ff);
the Holy Year is a time when God pours forth abundant graces to quench the thirst of our souls. God struck the earth to free St. Paul and Silas from prison, which resulted in the jailer and his family asking for baptism (Acts 16:25ff); God has struck our hearts opening them to His graces, beginning with the saving grace of Baptism. As our Lord hung upon the cross, the soldier struck His most Sacred Heart, and out flowed blood and water, symbols of the Holy Eucharist and Baptism (John 19:31 f) which nourish each of our souls. In all, the striking of the door symbolizes the release of graces, flowing abundantly to the faithful.

Moreover, when the door opens, the obstacles of passage to our Lord are removed. During the Holy Year, we hope and pray that the obstacles of personal weakness, temptation, and sin will be removed so that we will have a holy union with our Lord.

The construction of the door itself reminds us of the history of salvation. The door consists of sixteen panels, four panels grouped into four rows; the “door” itself is divided into two with two columns of panels for each door. The very top row has two panels showing the exile of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after the Fall with the sword wielding angel guarding the entrance with the fiery sword. The opposite two panels depict the Annunciation with the Archangel Gabriel asking Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. The inscription covering both panels reads, “What sad Eve took away [paradise], you [Mary] give back with life-giving child” (“Quod Heva tristis abstulit, Tu reddis almo germine”).

The next row of four panels highlight gospel stories of the mercy and forgiveness of God: First, the baptism of our Lord by St. John at the Jordan with the inscription, “You come to me?” (“Tu venis ad me?”). The second, the good shepherd finding of the lost sheep: “To save what had been lost” (“Salvare quod perierat”). Third, the prodigal son asking forgiveness from his father: “Father I have sinned against Heaven and also you” (“Pater, peccavi in coelum et coram te”). Fourth, Jesus curing the paralytic, but first saying, “Your sins are forgiven”: “Take your mat and walk” (“Tolle grabatum tuum et ambula”).

The third row continues the same theme: First, the penitent woman washing the feet of Jesus in the home of Simon the Pharisee: “Her many sins are forgiven her” (“Remittuntur ei peccata multa”). Second, St. Peter asking our Lord how many times must a person forgive and our Lord replying, “Seventy times seven” (“Septuagies septies”). Third, Peter weeping after he had just denied our Lord three times outside the home of Caiphas the High Priest on Holy Thursday evening: “The Lord turned and looked at Peter” (“Conversus Dominus respexit Petram”). Fourth, the crucifixion, with our Lord between the two thieves, and saying to the “good thief,” “Today you will be with me in paradise” (“Hodie mecum eris in paradiso”).

The final row proclaims the Easter mystery and the birth of the Church: First, St. Thomas inspecting the wound marks of Jesus: “Happy are those who have believed” (“Beati qui crediderunt.”). Second, Jesus appearing to the apostles on Holy Thursday night, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (“Accipite Spirituum Sanctum”). Third, Jesus appearing to Saul (St. Paul) on the road to Damascus: “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (“Sum Jesus quem tu persequeris”).
Finally, a picture of the Holy Father striking the Holy Door, “I stand at the door and knock” (“Sto ad ostium et pulso”). In all, these scenes remind us of our call as pilgrims to enter the mystery of salvation and to pass from sin to grace, from separation to union with God, and from death to eternal life.

As we consider the holy door and particularly the recent Holy Year, our Lord stands at the door of our hearts knocking. We must open our hearts to Him and cross the threshold of hope, striving for holiness.

Source; Catholic Straight Answers.


Like all previous Jubilees, the Jubilee Year of Mercy features a very special plenary indulgence (the complete remission of all sins, temporal punishment due to sin).

I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God's mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed.
– Pope Francis, Letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Sept. 1, 2015.

There have been many Jubilee Years – 26 ordinary Jubilees and three extraordinary – and each has featured a special plenary indulgence.

This time around, Pope Francis is seeking to make the indulgence as widely available as possible. In the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Holy Door is to be opened in every cathedral around the world, as well as in particular shrines, where large numbers of pilgrims come to honor the mercy of God.

Even though we can only obtain one plenary indulgence a day, if you perform the required actions for other plenary indulgences on the same day, you can still obtain multiple partial indulgences.

To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.

As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says, "For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence."

For the imprisoned, the Holy Father says, "They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom."
You may receive the plenary indulgence yourself, or offer it for a person in purgatory.


To refresh everyone's memories, here are the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence: It is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
have sacramentally confessed their sins;
receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act.

Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested.
One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

– Adapted from the decree on the plenary indulgence for the 2000 Jubilee Year.


In calling for the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to know the face of God's mercy — Jesus Christ Incarnate — and to show that face of mercy to our friends and neighbors (as well as our enemies!).

To that end, we have prepared for you a to-do list for the upcoming Jubilee:

Forgive those who have hurt you or have done you wrong. If possible, consider forgiving debts owed you and/or returning collateral. Go to Confession regularly — monthly or even weekly.

Read and meditate on the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospel of Luke.
Perform one or more works of mercy every day (corporal and spiritual works of mercy)

Go on a pilgrimage, visit several churches and pray the prayer of mercy
Share the Good News of God's mercy through your words and good deeds.

Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in your parish, receiving Communion in the state of grace in order to receive the "clean slate grace." Place the Divine Mercy Image in a prominent place in your home and venerate it daily.

Offer a novena of chaplets for the intentions Jesus gave St. Faustina in the nine days preceding Divine Mercy Sunday.
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily, imploring mercy "on us, and on the whole world."

Make the Stations of the Cross regularly, especially at 3 p.m., the Hour of Great Mercy.
Read Divine Mercy in My Soul — Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.

Fulfill the conditions for plenary indulgences and offer those indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Resolve to learn more about some saints who are outstanding for receiving mercy or showing God's mercy to those around them.


The Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

Admonish the sinner
Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
Counsel the doubtful
Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently for love of God
Forgive all injuries
Pray for the living and the dead

The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
illustrate the ways
to show charity toward others


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