I’m always amazed at the way most people in society are able to recognize the beauty of the celebration of Christmas, regardless of their religious perspectives. People are more open to discussions of morality and even of God. It seems appropriate for the season.
This Christmas is unique among our lifetime because it falls within an extraordinary Jubilee. This will be one of the few in our lifetime.
If we truly believe the Holy Spirit is moving and guiding the Church, then we can trust there is a purpose for this unscheduled Jubilee. God always provides what we need. It’s truly an extraordinary Jubilee for extraordinary times in great need of the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ.
“The jubilee is a favorable time for all of us, so that in contemplating divine mercy, which surpasses every human limitation and shines in the darkness of sin, we may become more convinced and effective witnesses.”
1. Go to Confession
The Incarnation of Jesus happened so we could be freed from the chains of sin through His sacrifice upon the cross. Jesus is the reason for the season, and He came so that you might have life. The best way to access that mercy is through repentance and reconciliation.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
2. Pray for and with Your Family
Prayer can feel insignificant when we see how easy it is to do, but the small act of prayer can have powerful consequences in our lives. This is especially true as families. The best way to pray as a family during Christmas is to go to Holy Mass together. Afterall, it is Christ’s Mass that we celebrate.
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Visit a Door of Mercy near You
Each diocese has designated various doors to make it easier for us to enter through them, and Christmas is a wonderful time of year to receive the graces of Mercy through the symbolic gesture. The Diocese of Austin has some spaced out throughout the Central Texas area. This is an important sign of what this Extraordinary Jubilee is about, and it is a resource of grace for us.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
4. Give to Strangers in Need
It’s easy to give to family and friends when you hope or even expect that they will give you a gift in return. We act in greater generosity when we know that they cannot return the favor. Gifts, time, presence, and food are wonderful ways to spread the joy of the season and point others toward the Lord.
“He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
5. Forgive Anyone You Need to Forgive
We deceive ourselves in thinking that it’s more painful to forgive when we have been hurt. In the end, we only hurt ourselves by holding on to judgement, anger, and resentment. This is truly the best way to enter into the spirit of the Jubilee of Mercy, but it will likely be the most difficult to live. Trust in the loving Mercy of the Lord, and let go of the pain and wonds you have.
This is truly the spirit of Christmas – to live in the imitation of Christ.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Spend the last week before Christmas finding ways to live out the Jubilee of Mercy in your life to better receive the Lord in your heart this season.