The Year of Mercy

Pope Francis writes in Misericordiae Vultus—the papal bull that announced this Jubilee Year of Mercy— that he desires that Christian people everywhere more deeply reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The pope views this year as an opportunity to “reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty.” He challenges us to “enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy.”

Lent is a time to reflect more intentionally on Pope Francis’ invitation. During these 40 days, we examine our own lives in an ongoing effort to “be merciful, just as [the] Father is merciful.” And CRS Rice Bowl is our tool to do just this. Through CRS Rice Bowl, we encounter those living in conditions of poverty around the world, and we have the opportunity to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President of CRS’ U.S. Operations, shares her thoughts in this reflection.

Make your Lenten practice this year one of mercy.

  • Faith-Sharing: Use this adult faith-sharing resource, Live Mercy: Feed the Hungry, to inspire reflection on the scope of global hunger and how we are called to respond in mercy.
  • Gospel Reflections: Consider how the Gospel of the Word each Sunday can inspire you and your community to live mercy throughout the week with these Reflections on Sunday’s Readings.
  • Lives of the Saints: Contemplate God’s mercy throughout our Catholic tradition by reflecting on the Lives of the Saints who have gone before us.
  • Digital Retreat: Hear from Kerry Weber of America Magazine on how mercy is integral to each of our Lenten journeys—and how it’s a lot like riding a bus—on this episode of What is Lent?

“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,” Pope Francis writes. Let us keep this invitation in prayer as we begin our Lenten journey.

Find more resources to help you live the Year of Mercy more deeply here.