We are about to embark on one of the most important years of our present lifetime, the Jubilee Year of Mercy. This year imparts a special grace that cannot be received twice. These types of years don’t come often in the church’s history except every 25 or 50 years, so we need to take advantage of celebrating it properly. (Our last great extraordinary holy year was in 1983 and before that in 1933.)
The diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, is a good place to start our preparation as Jesus himself gives St. Faustina a ‘charter’ of Divine Mercy in the following 3 steps. Three ways each of us can live the Divine Mercy every day;
“ I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first – by deed, the second – by word, the third – by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy.” 
Step 1 – BY DEED
The Bull of Indiction by Pope Francis called “Misericordiae Vultus” is filled with many ways to exercise mercy and they can all be categorized under Jesus’ three above mentioned ways. Deeds is the first one that stands out most in our times.
Pope Francis writes, “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty… 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 offenses, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.” 
In 2013 Pope Francis went even deeper in helping us understand the breath, length, depth, and height of God’s love and mercy (Eph.3:8) for his wounded people when he said, “But Jesus tells us that the path to encountering Him is to find His wounds. We find Jesus’ wounds in carrying out works of mercy, giving to the body – the body – the soul too, but – I stress – the body of your wounded brother, because he is hungry, because he is thirsty, because he is naked, because he is humiliated, because he is enslaved, because he is incarcerated, because he is in hospital. These are the wounds of Jesus today.”
We don’t hear much about this type of theology, but it is centuries old and it is essential that we comprehend the wounds of Jesus from a corporal and spiritual works of mercy perspective. This is why, for me personally, feeding the homeless at Mary House, and doing a Communion service at the retirement home are a top priority on my busy schedule. It has been an indispensable grace for my diaconate, and I have seen the fruits of it borne in their wounded hearts and mine.
“Misericordiae Vultus” further affirms this truth when Pope Francis says, “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. Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new! Let us ward off destructive cynicism! Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!” (15)
But even more emphatically, Jesus Himself gravely exhorts St. Faustina,
“I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.” 
Step 2 – BY WORD
We have considered mercy in “deeds” but now we will speak of “word.” As a deacon I have personally felt the power of the Holy Spirit when I preach on God’s mercy. After nine years of ordination as a deacon, I can attest to the change that comes over me when speaking, preaching, or teaching on divine mercy. I have felt the special anointing of spreading divine mercy as when Jesus tells St. Faustina, “Tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart. To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak.” Yes, make this test for yourselves and see how Jesus turns a poor preacher and teacher into lion on fire!
In spite of my deep poverty and lack of gifts, I have personally experienced many other graces when spreading devotion to divine mercy. Graces like patience and kindness that previously were not in my arsenal, reminding me of the words of Jesus to St. Faustina, “I grant you as many graces as you can hold. As often as you want to make Me happy, speak to the world about My great and unfathomable mercy.”  I truly believe that this year will have one of its greatest impacts and effects on the clergy when they personally experience the grace of spreading devotion to the merciful heart of Jesus. In my opinion it is important that we understand that this year is truly a total outpouring of mercy on humanity as when Jesus tells St. Faustina, “My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me – clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness.” 
Even the Blessed Mother speaks to St. Faustina of the great importance of speaking about divine mercy, “You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day.”
Jesus confirms this message when he tells St. Faustina, “Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them.”  The scriptures also talk of “the great and terrible day of the Lord’s coming,” (Joel 2:31) therefore, we should do everything possible to spread His mercy and not worry of our shortcomings as when He tells St. Faustina, “My daughter, do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack.”  I must confess that many times during my diaconate Jesus has more than made up, by making an eloquent speaker out of a mediocre speaker when I least expected it.
If none of these statements convinces you maybe this will, “All those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle.”  This was my first selfish reason and motivation for spreading the message of the Divine Mercy nine years ago but this work is so important to Our Lord that He works with what we give him.
Step 3 – BY PRAYER
Doing Works of Mercy is vital, but without prayer we run the risk becoming good-willed social workers during the Jubilee of Mercy. Therefore during this extraordinary year we should not simply stay at the first level, but we should look toward heaven and contemplate the wounds of Jesus, as he tells St. Faustina, “The contemplation of My painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy.”  “And when it seems to you that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate My wounds, and you will rise above human scorn and judgment.”  “Come close to My wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey.” 
Something that has worked for me is to contemplate each wound with each decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. In my opinion doing this would go a long way to keep those in the trenches from losing hope when they see only darkness and despair at every turn when caring for the many wounds of our brethren. We truly have to understand that the world is a field hospital of wounded souls, and we ourselves are among the wounded. Contemplating the wounds of Jesus is not something new. You see this devotion in the lives of many Saints eg: St. Bridget and St. Francis of Assisi. An example of its fruit is St. Faustina saying, “I fixed my gaze upon His sacred wounds and felt happy to suffer with Him. I suffered, and yet I did not suffer,” and the words of prophet Isaiah, “By his wounds we are healed.” (53:5)
Immediately after his resurrection Jesus shows his wounds to the apostles, because it was very important for them to understand the price of our salvation and the love He has for us. Ultimately, He will show the Heavenly Father His wounds every time he intercedes for us. The Cappadocian Fathers speak of the importance of the “showing of the wounds,” to the Father and Pope Francis in 2014 states, “Jesus, when He returns to heaven, brings the Father a gift. It is the gift? His wounds. His body is very beautiful, without bruises, without the wounds of the flagellation, but the wounds [in his hands, feet, and side,] remain. When he returns to the Father he shows him the wounds and says to him: “Look, Father, this is the price of the forgiveness that you give.” When the Father looks at Jesus’ wounds he always forgives us, not because we are good but because Jesus has paid for us. Looking at Jesus’ wounds, the Father becomes more merciful. This is the great work of Jesus in heaven today: showing the Father the price of forgiveness, his wounds. This is beautiful and it moves us not to have fear of asking forgiveness. The Father always forgives because he looks at the wounds of Jesus, looks at our sin and forgives it.”
But of all Jesus’ wounds, let us contemplate most deeply the wound of His immolated Heart, as Jesus tells St. Faustina, “From all My wounds, like from streams, mercy flows for souls, but the wound in My Heart is the fountain of unfathomable mercy. From this fountain spring all graces for souls. The flames of compassion burn Me. I desire greatly to pour them out upon souls.”  “I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you.”  This is the hope and expectation on this Jubilee of Mercy for us and mankind: the Church via the sacraments opens up her side so that Divine Mercy flows to mankind.
We are in a year and in an age of mercy, and we will receive as much, but only as much, as we ardently desire and ask for. We must ask for great mercy, especially daily at 3pm, the Hour of Great Mercy, trusting St. Faustina’s vision, “I saw Jesus, nailed to the Cross in such a way that when God wanted to look at the earth, He had to look through the wounds of Jesus.” 
Now more than ever this is the reality we are living in. Both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have stated that the Divine Mercy is the only hope left for humanity. Yes, these wounds are difficult, strange, and unimaginable to understand as when Pope Frances stated in 2014, “The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness.” Therefore let us go out into the world spreading mercy by “deed,” “word,” and “prayer” asking St. Faustina to, “Intercede for us and obtain for us the grace of living and walking always according to the mercy of God and with an unwavering trust in his love.” (24) Misericordiae Vultus