John Connelly


First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2015
Jeremiah 33.14 -16 | Psalm 25 | 1 Thessalonians 3.12- 4.2 | Luke 21.25-28, 34-36
November 23, 2015

The pope declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8.

We need to reflect on the profound reality that no one is beyond the mercy of Jesus. Mercy is available to presidents, prime ministers, rich and poor, old and young, prisoners, drug addicts, the marginalized, everyone.

But mercy requires specific qualities for it to fully enter our lives. Mercy requires humility and trust.

Make me know your ways O Lord, teach me your paths. -

'Make me know your ways O Lord, teach me your paths.'

Psalm 25.4

Humility is seeing our profound need. It is understanding we cannot make it on our own. We need Jesus, here and now.

It is God who loves us, sustains us, moment by moment and holds us. Humility is what causes us to cry out for divine mercy in our lives, our families, our communities, our world. When someone looks to Jesus and cries out for help and grace, the door is open for mercy to begin its miraculous work.

Trust is also a profound element to receive mercy. It is recognizing God is on our side.

In this week's Gospel we read: "Jesus said to his disciples: There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves."


"People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

"But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."

Advent Wreath - Week 1

At first glance, this Scripture may seem intimidating. But really what is it saying to you and me?

When Jesus says "raise your heads" he is speaking of trust, of not giving into the fear that threatens to overwhelm us and our world. Trust is the decision to look to Jesus and call on him, no matter what. It allows his mercy to reign in us here and now.

We live in uncertain and trying times. Many are struggling economically, spiritually and emotionally. Fear and anxiety are on the rise. When we humble ourselves and trust in Jesus, our lives open up to God's mercy. Mercy is the gift of the presence and love of God that transforms us from the inside out.


Mercy is knowing that despite our faults and failings, we are beloved children of God.

Often the sacrament of Reconciliation is referred to as the sacrament of mercy. It is a concrete way to let the mercy of Jesus transform us. So let us pray, reconcile and be open to the infinite, life-giving mercy of Jesus during this sacred Advent season.

In the words of Pope Francis: "I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time."

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us all.