Finding joy in mercy

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This Jubilee year invites us to be missionaries of mercy who flood the world with acts of mercy and love so as to counter the many other acts that are far from pleasing to God. Mercy is a call to act in accord with the tender love that Jesus showed when He was among us and that He continues to show us, His struggling disciples.

One of the key principles of Salesian Spirituality is to "Live Jesus." St. Francis de Sales encourages us to follow Jesus closely as we go about our daily lives by living in the present moment and being the face of Christ to all we meet. St. Francis always looked for the goodness in people and emphasized that we are created imago Dei (in the image and likeness of God), with innate goodness and tremendous potential. Likewise, we are asked to look at each other in a similar way, seeing His presence in others and looking beyond any pre-judgment.

This is an exciting time in the church, for it is an opportunity with endless possibilities to allow people to see us from the perspective of our baptism call, as witnesses of the Good News. That good news is that God is merciful and always ready to share His mercy with us and others. Our duty is to announce that mercy to the broken but redeemed world in which we live.

One of the hopes of Pope Francis is that this focus on mercy will renew our church and each of us individually. It will open for us a vision for a better future for our church and the world.

St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal have keen insights that will help us celebrate this extraordinary time in ways that renew our spirit and encourage us to bring that renewal to our world with joyful hearts.

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde and the area Oblates of St. Francis de Sales will celebrate the saint's feast day Jan. 24 at the 11:15 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 8601 Wolftrap Rd., Vienna.

If you are interested in deepening your understanding of God's mercy, the Oblates' annual Lenten gathering of Live Jesus! will explore this topic. "Opening the Door to the Joy of Mercy," which reflects the Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, will be held March 5 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The keynote speaker. For more information, visit

Fr. Dolan is parochial vicar of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016