“A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:6-9
As I mentioned yesterday, I believe that God chooses some to be called in a special way, to be prophets, to bring His message to our world today. John in the gospel today was called to announce the coming of Jesus or as the gospel writer states “testify to the light”.
Who is that prophet for you today? Who testifies to the light of Christ in your life?
For me, Pope Francis is one of those persons who is testifying to the light of Christ. His actions and words point us to God. He has called the people of God, most especially, those of the Roman Catholic tradition to a jubilee year of mercy. The following selected quotes are taken from the official Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which began December 8, 2015.
The Church’s first truth is the love of Christ. The Church makes herself a servant of this love and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of oneself. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy. (#12)
In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes which 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. (#15)
I present, therefore, this Extraordinary Jubilee Year dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us. In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. (#25)
Lord, May You continue to send your Holy Spirit upon Pope Francis to be a prophetic voice in our midst today and to lead us ever more closely to You. Amen.
Photo from the oil painting of “The Prodigal Son” by Rembrandt