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Feast Of Christ The King And Closing Of The Door Of Mercy By Fr. Isidore Clarke (Audio and Text)

Feast Of Christ The King And Closing Of The Door Of Mercy                             By Fr. Isidore Clarke (Audio and Text)
‘Christ the King, Prior’s Door,’ Ely Cathedral, England

Greetings from Fr. Isidore Clarke.

A year ago Pope Francis proclaimed a YEAR OF MERCY. Indeed, a Door of Mercy was designated in Rome and in dioceses throughout the world. In a highly symbolic gesture the Pope opened the locked Door of Mercy. In so doing he proclaimed the openness of God's mercy… His eagerness to forgive sinners.

Through that door we entered the House of God -the focus of His mercy. This we first experienced at our baptisms when we infants were carried through the church doors as strangers and were welcomed with joy into the community of the Church. We became members of God's family.

Later we would frequently pass through the Door of Mercy to ask God to forgive our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There, in God's House, we celebrate the sacrifice of the Cross, the sacrifice of the Mass, through which Jesus our Saviour has made our peace with God.The Door of Mercy has represented the gateway to salvation!

Pope Francis has urged us to see mercy as being the face of God, Jesus as the human expression of divine mercy.Jesus tells us, that we, who have been made in the image of God must be as compassionate as our heavenly Father is compassionate, (cf. Lk. 6. 36).Our very personalities must radiate this compassion as we personally experience the wonder of God's mercy, the wonder of other people showing us compassion.

Now, to mark the end of the Year of Mercy the Door of Mercy will be solemnly closed.The question for the Church and for each of us must be, 'What next?'Has the past year been like a bright, exciting shooting star, which rapidly disappears into the distance and is soon forgotten?With the closing of the Door of Mercy are we going to let our hearts become closed with what Pope Francis describes as 'global indifference' to the sufferings of others.

If so, all we could say of the Year of Mercy would be, 'It was good while it lasted.' We would then slip back into our normal humdrum routine, as though the Year of Mercy had never happened.If so, it would have had no lasting value.

We must not let that happen; we must not fritter away this special Year of Grace. The past Year of Mercy must not become a conclusion, but a launching pad for us to continue spreading the wonder of God's mercy throughout the world.The past year should have produced a radical conversion in us, leading us to be more eager to seek forgiveness from God and each other, to forgive those who have harmed us. Hopefully, the Year of Mercy will inspire us to be more caring and compassionate.

It is very fitting that the feast of Christ the King should conclude the Year of Mercy.His life-long mission was to defeat every form of evil and establish God's reign of Peace, Love, Justice, Holiness and Truth. That was finally won when the crucified Christ was enthroned on the cross.Not by force of arms but by the power of His merciful love He defeated the destructive might of sin and death. His is a liberating victory, setting us free to be fully human, fully children of God. In Him everything in heaven and earth has been has been reconciled to God.In Him there is a new creation, restoring and renewing God's original creation, damaged by sin.

But if we are to share in the victory of the cross, we must join Jesus in His battle against evil.For us, as for Him, our only weapon must be merciful love. That is how He has established His Kingdom.Only through merciful love will we be His true and loyal subjects.

Though the Year of Mercy may have concluded, its mission continues till the end of time, when Christ the King will return in glory, finally to establish His sovereignty over the whole of creation.With the whole heavenly choir we will triumphantly sing, "Our God reigns!" His loving mercy reigns! b6e5c#��7̹
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