Friday, January 8, 2016


With our eyes fixed on Jesus and his merciful gaze, we experience the love of the Most Holy Trinity. The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of divine love in its fullness. “God is love”  John affirms for the first and only time in all of Holy Scripture. This love has now been made visible and tangible in Jesus’ entire life. His person is nothing but love, a love given gratuitously. The relationships he forms with the people who approach him manifest something entirely unique and unrepeatable. The signs he works, especially in favor of sinners, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the suffering, are all meant to teach mercy. Everything in him speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion.

We ponder these words of Pope Francis in his Bull for the Jubilee Year of Mercy Misericordiae Vultus, as we see Jesus heal the leper in today's Gospel. Jesus embodies compassion as he touches this untouchable leper, this poor man who has lived in pain and stark isolation for too long. Now he can simply blend in once again. Jesus has given him back to his family and friends; Jesus has given him back to ordinariness, blessed ordinariness. It is after all where his mercy always comes to meet us. 

Photograph of the Abbey's Roman stairway and abbatiale by Father Emmanuel.