How To Pray in the Year of Compassion and Mercy

If you are a Catholic campus minister (or even if you’re not), this will help you celebrate the Jubilee of Compassion and Mercy in 38 weeks.

The format of the reflection is as follows: 1. Quotation of the Week 2. Call to action. 3. Objective of the week’s reflection

Context. At the start of the week, the Ateneo High School has the habit of sharing a reflection on a certain topic relevant to the school. We usually schedule it on a Monday, but if the Monday becomes a holiday, we move the reflection to the next day. We find reflections very helpful to set the mood and the meaning of the week.

This school year, we have adapted as the spiritual theme the Catholic Church’s Jubilee of Compassion and Mercy, and the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines’ Year of the Poor. We are inspired by Pope Francis’ Bull, Misericordiae Vultus (Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy) given in Rome last 11 April 2015, the Sunday of Divine Mercy.

The weekly topic on God’s mercy and compassion are quotable quotes from the Bull. Oftentimes, they are also Scriptural passages used in Pope Francis’ document. There are also added quotes from the General Congregations of the Society of Jesus that mandates the ministry to the poor, as a “faith that does justice.”

These reflection topics are included in the Student Planner to put every member of the Ateneo High School community on the same page. These reflections will then lead the community to do concrete acts of mercy and compassion.

This year, every sector of the school, such as subject areas, offices and programs, student organizations, and parents’ organizations will have an outreach activity apart from what already exists. We already have the Katipunan Fund Drive, the Christian Service Involvement Program and the Tulong-Dunong Program.

We will now open opportunities for volunteerism in Casiguran in Quezon, Culion in Palawan, and the far-flung areas of the indigenous peoples of the Bukidnon Mission Districts. We hope that Pope Francis’ Misericordiae Vultus will move us to action.

Here is the schedule for reflections.***  I do hope that this will also help you reflect on the importance of this year in the life of the Church and of humanity at large.

Week 1 June 8-12

  1. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,*

because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” (Luke 4: 18-19).

  1. Look at Jesus who begins his work.

Week 2 June 15-19

  1. Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
  2. Look at Jesus who seeks to be in his Father’s house or to make His self busy with the Father’s business.
  3. Relate the concerns of school to doing the Father’s will or being in the Father’s house.

Week 3 June 22-26

  1. “Jesus said to them, `My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.’” (John 4:34)
  2. Look at Jesus who finds his true reward, the joy in doing the Father’s will.
  3. Relate success in last year’s academic work, one’s response to the call of becoming a leader or offering service to others as opportunities to find joy in sharing God’s work.

Week 4 June 29-July 03

  1. “At nightfall, unobserved by any one, he approached   a beggar, and taking off his own costly garments gave them to the beggar. He then put on the pilgrim’s clothing, he had previously bought, and hastened to the church, where he threw himself on his knees before the altar of the Blessed Mother of God…” (from the Autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola)
  2. Look at Jesus who is poor, and at the same time, cares for the poor, and is the hope for the poor.
  3. Reflect and pray on the challenges of rendering service and preferential option for the poor even as a young AHS student.

Week 5 July 06-10

  1. “This is very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order to really become acquainted with the reality and life-experiences of people. If this does not happen, we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy.” – Pope Francis writes down his ideas on the mission of the Church using some words from Fr. Pedro Arrupe S.J. (My Door is Always Open, pp. 147-148.)
  2. Look at Jesus who is in the poor, who identifies himself with the least, the last and the lonely.
  3. Express one’s desire to care for the poor by identifying one’s self as their companion and friend.

Week 6 July 13-17

  1. “It is my Will to conquer all the land of unbelievers. Therefore, whoever would like to come with me is to be content to eat as I, and also to drink and dress, etc., as I. Likewise he is to labor like me in the day and watch in the night, etc., that so afterwards he may have part with me in the victory, as he has had it in the labors.” (Call of the Earthly King, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola)
  2. Look at Jesus, Our Lord and True King, who calls us to labor with him in his work to renew the Father’s kingdom.
  3. Recognize Christ’s call to share in his loving service of the poor.

Week 7 July 20-24

  1. Eternal Lord of all things, I feel your gaze on me. I sense that your Mother stands near, watching and that with you are all the great beings of heaven: angels and powers and martyrs and saints. Lord Jesus, I think you have put a desire in me. If you will help me, please, I would like to make my offering. I want it to be my desire and my choice, provided that you want it, too, to live my life as you lived yours. (Excerpt from the Prayer of St. Ignatius, drawn from The Spiritual Exercises’ “Eternal Lord of All Things”)
  2. Look at Jesus who gazes at us with love and invites us to share in his love for the poor.
  3. Contemplate on Christ’s loving gaze on us, on our world, on the poor.

Week 8 July 27-July 31

  1. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” ( 1 Corinthians 10:31)
  2. Look at Jesus who spends all his activities to glorify the Father.
  3. Offer to Christ a grateful heart that desires to know, love and follow him in all that we do.

Week 9 August 03-07

  1. “The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.

God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit. All the things in this world are gifts from God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God, insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.” (Excerpt from the “Principle and Foundation” of St. Ignatius, as found in his Spiritual Exercises)

  1. Look at Jesus who is our model of what it means to live a well-principled and meaningful life.
  2. Relish St. Ignatius desire to offer one’s self to God and to share in this desire. Acknowledge that our real joy and meaning is rooted in being able to know, love and serve God.

Week 10 August 10-14

  1. “Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri, nagpupuri sa Panginoon. Nagagalak ang aking Espiritu Santo sa aking Tagapagligtas.” Ang awit ni Maria, ang Magnificat, ay isang awit ng pag-asa – tinutupad ng Diyos ang pangako niya ng habag sa mga dukha at aba. (mula kay Pope Francis sa kanyang homilya noong ika-15 Agosto 2015)
  2. Look at Jesus who brings hope to the poor by extolling his humble mother, Mary, with the gift of the Assumption.
  3. Prepare for the schoolwide Mass with a heart that seeks to share God’s gift of hope with the poor. (KFD)

Week 11 August 17-21

  1. “In his passion Christ assumed all our pain. When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I felt I had to be here. And on those very days I decided to come here.” (from Pope Francis’ homily to the people of Tacloban, January 17, 2015)
  2. Look at Jesus on the cross and believe that he has not let us down.
  3. Recall Pope Francis’ Visit to the Philippines, especially to the people of Tacloban. Relish how he manifested mercy and compassion in this particular visit to Tacloban — “Habag at Malasakit.” Looking back, he did not abandon; in our tragedies, the Lord was with. “Hindi tayo nag-iisa!”

Week 12 August 24-28

  1. “Our heart always has desires, has cravings, has thoughts. But are these from the Lord or do some of these things take us away from the Lord? Test the spirits to see if they really come from God… the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well. If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, (then) it is from Jesus.” – Pope Francis (1/7/14)
  2. Look at Jesus who is tempted like us in all things, but discerns the spirits, chooses humility, love and service.
  3. Relate the “testing of spirits” to one’s experience of exams – not only discerning the right answers, but also choosing the correct motivations in taking these exams.

Week 13 August 31-Sept. 4

  1. “Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.” – Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, #53
  2. Look at Jesus who is poor, hungry and rejected, and be moved to care for him through those who suffer with him.
  3. Provide the reflection and prayer on our experiences of Christian social involvement in various school programs and activities.

Week 14 September 7-11

  1. In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and solitude to which we so often condemn the poorest of the poor, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies. Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person – I spoke of children: let us move to the elderly, another point! And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “culture of waste” suggests! They cannot be thrown away! – Pope Francis (9/20/13)
  2. Look at Jesus in the faces of children and the elderly.
  3. Reflect on Mary’s birthday as a sign of God’s supreme regard for the value of human life and dignity. With Mary, give thanks to God for the gift of human life.

Week 15 September 14-18

  1. True joy does not come from things or from possessing, no! It is born from the encounter, from the relationship with others, it is born from feeling accepted, understood and loved, and from accepting, from understanding and from loving; and this is not because of a passing fancy but because the other is a person. – Pope Francis (his homily in 7/6/13)
  2. Look at Jesus who lived a simple life.
  3. Consider simplicity of lifestyle as a joy-filled existence, a life not measured by material things, but experienced through meaningful relationships.

Week 16 September 21-25

  1. Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for our own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvelous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. – Pope Francis (his message in 5/21/14)
  2. Look at Jesus who is the True Lord over all Creation, who gives us all the good gifts that surround us, and calls us to care for all these, because He loves us.
  3. Share the experiences and fruits of the Eco-Spiritual Pilgrimage made in Cagayan de Oro, made last month. Thank the Lord and offer a response of good stewardship.

Week 17 September 28-Oct. 2

  1. “To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, in the face of Jesus.” – Pope Francis, Address during Visit at the Homeless Shelter “Dona Di Maria,” 5/21/13)
  2. Look at Jesus in every person we meet especially in “the least, the last, and the lost” of our communities and families.
  3. Relate the wearing of the October Medal as a challenge to be the face of Christ to others, or to see the face of Christ in others.

Week 18 October 5-9

  1. May she take care of us and protect us on our journey, in our hearts, in our faith. May she make us disciples like herself, missionaries like herself. May she teach us to go out onto the streets. May she teach us to step outside ourselves. May she, by her meekness, by her peace, show us the way. – Pope Francis (7/25/13, Argentina)
  1. Look at Jesus who shares his Mary to be our own mother and companion in the journey of life.
  2. Relish some points from the October 5 Mass, reflect and pray on Mary’s role as our Mother, Teacher and Companion in the Journey of Faith.

Week 19 October 12-16

  1. Let us look to Christ. He is the Lord. He understands us because he underwent all the trials that we, that you, have experienced. And beside the cross was his Mother. We are like a little child in the moments when we have so much pain and no longer understand anything. All we can do is grab hold of her hand firmly and say “Mommy” – like a child does when it is afraid. It is perhaps the only words we can say in difficult times – “Mommy”. – Pope Francis (Homily in Tacloban, 1/17/15)
  2. Look at Jesus through the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary who shares Him in and through the praying of the Rosary.
  3. Reflect on and offer specific prayer-intentions-of-the-day before praying the different decades of the rosary throughout the day.

Week 20 October 19-23

  1. “It is good to have a little Bible that you carry with you in your pocket or in your bag. Always carry a Bible with you, even on the bus!

When you open the Holy Gospel, think that what is written there — the words and deeds of Christ — is something that you should not only know, but live. Everything, every point that is told there, has been gathered, detail-by-detail, for you to make it come alive in the individual circumstances of your life.” – Pope Francis (Angelus message, 4/6/2014)

  1. Look at Jesus through the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary who shares Him in and through the praying of the Rosary.
  2. Relate the Teen Reed Week as a reminder and an opportunity that as Catholics, we need to read Scripture on our own and that he Rosary actually helps us remember the Old Testament events.

Reflect on and offer specific prayer-intentions-of-the-day before praying the different decades of the rosary throughout the day.

Week 21 October 26-30

1. “Resting in prayer is especially important for families… [Like St. Joseph, rest in the Lord.] 2. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means that we must pray to St Joseph for this problem.” – Pope Francis to Filipino families (MOA Manila, 1/16/15)

Week 22 November 2-6

  1. “Yesterday, as Mass was about to start, a piece of scaffolding fell and, upon falling, hit a young woman who was working in the area and she died. Her name is Kristel. She worked for the organization preparing for that Mass. She was 27 years old, young like yourselves. She worked for Catholic Relief Services as a volunteer. I would like all of you who are young like her to pray for a moment in silence with me and then we will pray to Our Mother in Heaven. Let us pray.” – Pope Francis (UST grounds, Manila 1/18/15)
  2. Look at Jesus who lead us and prepares for us an everlasting life with him in heaven.
  3. Pray for our departed relatives and friends. Reflect on our present life as a pilgrimage to eternal life with Christ in Paradise. Prepare ourselves for this with good works.

Week 23 November 9-13

  1. “For this the Gospel offers us a serene way forward: using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands – and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages…   To think. To feel. To do. And all in harmony.” – Pope Francis in his message during the Meeting with Filipino Youth (UST grounds, Manila 1/18/15)
  2. Look at Jesus from the vantage point of the Gospel, and learn from how he thinks, feels and does.
  3. Recognize also that the life of St. Stanislaus Kostka was a harmony of these three languages.

Week 24 November 16-20

  1. How many young people among you are like this? You know how to give and yet you have ever learned how to receive. You still lack one thing. Become a beggar. This is what you still lack. Learn how to beg. This isn’t easy to understand. To learn how to beg. To learn how to receive with humility. To learn to be evangelized by the poor, by those we help, the sick, orphans, they have so much to give us. Have I learned how to beg? Or am I self-sufficient? Do I think I need nothing?        Do you know you too are poor? Do you know your own poverty and your need to receive? Do you let yourselves be evangelized by those you serve? This is what helps you mature in your commitment to give to others. Learn how to open your hand from your very own poverty. – Pope Francis in his message during the Meeting with Filipino Youth (UST grounds, Manila 1/18/15)
  2. Look at Jesus in the poor and through them, ask him:

What can I learn from you? What do you want to teach me?

  1. Thank the Lord for what the poor teach and remind us.

Week 25 November 23-27

  1. The Gospel teaches what Jesus’ kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged. This is the great parable of the final judgement in Matthew 25. The King says: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (25:34-36). The righteous will ask him: when did we do all this? And he will answer them: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). – Pope Francis (from his homily, 11/23/14)
  2. Look at Jesus, our God and King, who identifies himself with the poor and the oppressed.
  3. Reflect and pray on the relevance of the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe in one’s own life especially now as we close and start a new grading period and liturgical year.

Week 26 November 30 to December 4

  1. “We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.

We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.” – Pope Francis (World Youth Day 2013)

  1. Be a saint anywhere God calls you to be.
  2. As we begin the celebration of the Advent season, let us open ourselves to a renewal of friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Seek that our renewed relationship with him may open our lives to a greater desire of following him and loving him through others.

Week 27 December 7-11

  1. “Chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God, Mary, from the outset, was prepared by the love of God to be the Ark of the Covenant between God and man. She treasured divine mercy in her heart in perfect harmony with her Son Jesus. Her hymn of praise,   sung at the threshold of the home of Elizabeth, was dedicated to the mercy of God which extends from “generation to generation” (Lk 1:50). We too were included in those prophetic words of the Virgin Mary. This will be a source of comfort and strength to us as we cross the threshold of the Holy Year to experience the fruits of divine mercy.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, # 24)
  2. Be merciful like the Father.
  3. Bring ourselves before the door of Christ’s heart and ask him that in this Jubilee Year may we experience his mercy and so share it with others.

Week 28 December 14-18

  1. “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.     The Father, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #1)
  2. Be God’s gift of mercy and compassion for others.
  3. Celebrate the Christmas season with a prayer of thanksgiving made in the Ateneo – remembering God’s Gift for us, who is Jesus Christ, the many gifts in our lives and the gifts of persons we meet in our partner outreach communities and schools who remind us that God is merciful and compassionate.

Week 29 January 4-8

  1. “In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes modern society itself creates. How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today! How many are the wounds borne by the flesh of those who have no voice because their cry is muffled and drowned out by the indifference of the rich! During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #15)
  2. Look forward to a year of God’s mercy and grace.
  3. Reflect on the significance of the “Opening of Doors” as part of the Jubilee of Mercy Celebration and relate to the renewed Christian attitude of celebrating a new year. Give thanks to God in prayer for the year that was (2014) and seek God’s help and blessing for the year that is ahead (2015 and the Jubilee Year of Mercy).

Week 30 January 11-15

  1. “In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart and repeats that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy. Her life is authentic and credible only when she becomes a convincing herald of mercy.“ – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #25)
  2. Expect God’s surprises and guidance in the coming year. Trust in His merciful and abiding presence.
  3. Open ours hearts to the Lord. Entrust our personal and communal lives to God who is merciful and compassionate.

Week 31 January 18-22

  1. “The Church lives within the communion of the saints. In the Eucharist, this communion, which is a gift from God, becomes a spiritual union binding us to the saints and blessed ones whose number is beyond counting.”         — Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #22)
  2. Grow in deeper solidarity with our younger brother Ateneans, with those who are considered least in the community.
  3. Relate the importance of deepening our relationships in the family (esp. between fathers and sons) and in school (between older and younger Ateneans) with the value of fervently attending the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and/or receiving regularly Holy Communion.

Week 32 January 25-29

  1. “Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.”

“And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy:   to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #15)

  1. Do corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
  2. Seek the Lord’s grace of enlightenment to strengthen our resolve to follow Christ’s example of mercy and compassion for the poor and weak in society or to continue these good works that we do for the least members in our community.

Week 33 February 1-5

  1. “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives our sins, which he truly blots out; and yet sin leaves a negative effect on the way we think and act. But the mercy of God is stronger than even this. It becomes indulgence on the part of the Father who, through the Bride of Christ, his Church, reaches the pardoned sinner and frees him from every residue left by the consequences of sin, enabling him to act with charity, to grow in love rather than to fall back into sin.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #17, #22)

  1. Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Be faithful to your resolve to do the good and avoid occasions of sin.
  2. Reflect and pray on the importance of returning to Christ and his church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ask your class patron saint to help you gain the grace of a good confession.

Week 34 February 8-12

  1. Mercy is not opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe. – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #21)
  2. Have yourself ashed. Repent and believe in the Gospel.
  3. Reflect more deeply on what it truly means to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Prepare spiritually to receive this sacramental with joy.

Week 35 February 15-19

  1. “If the sin of corruption is not combated openly, sooner or later everyone will become an accomplice to it, and it will end up destroying our very existence.”                   – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #19)
  2. Live with honesty and integrity in everything that you do. (Even small acts done in sincerity and truth redound to a future filled with hope and joy.)
  3. Ask the good Lord to form all Ateneans to be competent and honest leaders. Pray for Ateneans who now hold key positions of power to hold on the values of Christ-centered conscience and compassion.

Week 36 February 22-26

  1. “Mary, whose ‘yes’ opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy.” – Pope Francis (Catechesis of the Holy Father, “The Faith of Mary,” Marian Vigil, 12 October 2013)
  1. Follow Mary’s example of obedience to God and love for neighbor.
  2. As the school year closes, let us offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary for all the assistance, blessings and lessons that we have received. Also, a prayer of request to untie the knots that life seem to offer us now.

Week 37 February 29-March 4

  1. “There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates us to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes.”

May the Jubilee of Mercy open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.” – Pope Francis (Misericordiae Vultus, #23)

  1. Listen more attentively to people around you. Share your thoughts and your feelings clearly, humbly.

Be open to dialogue.

  1. Pray for Christians in various countries who are persecuted simply because of their faith. Ask the Lord to bless the hearts and minds of people   with the openness to listen attentively and to support each other in their common and urgent concerns.

Week 38 March 7-11

  1. “We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church. Because “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, the presence of women must also be guaranteed in the workplace” and in the various other settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures.” – Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium, #103)
  2. Follow the example of Christ in his relationship with the women of his time.
  3. Pray that we may be like him, as found in the Gospels, them as someone mature, sensitive, open, friendly, candid, relaxed, pleasant, concerned, affirming, and forgiving.

*** These reflection guides were prepared by Mr. Philip Javier, Christian Life Education teacher, and printed in the AHS Student Planner under Mr. Gerry Pavia.

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