March 21, 2016

As Catholics worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter, Father Thomas Rosica is challenging them to extend mercy to the marginalized.

"I suggest to you this week as we prepare for the Holy Week . . . to put mercy into practice," he said. "Open your hearts and your life to those who are on the fringe. Show compassion and goodness and kindness to them."

For anyone unsure of how to act this way, Rosica recommends they study the actions of Pope Francis.

"Mercy in action, what better words to describe Pope Francis," said the Basilian priest, who is CEO of Salt+Light TV.

"(A) revolution he's launched is the revolution of normalcy because everything that he is doing and showing and mirroring and modelling for us is normal Christian behaviour."

Francis has captivated the minds and touched the hearts of people around the world. His actions are a genuine display of mercy which all Catholics can themselves manifest, said Rosica.

Rosica's words reverberated off the stone walls of the chapel at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto as he gave a Lenten mission on the topic of mercy.

As the students listened, a film crew recorded his words, which will air on television as the National Catholic Broadcasting Council's two-part annual National Catholic Mission.

It will be shown by Vision TV on March 21 and 22 and Salt+Light on March 22 and 23.

Part One focuses on mercy as the identifying characteristic of Pope Francis and God.

In Part Two, Rosica examines mercy as portrayed in one of the Bible's most well-known parables, "through the lens of the prodigal son."

The broadcasting council's mission program began in 1995 and supplements its Daily Mass program.

After the mission is aired, the program will be uploaded to YouTube to allow broad access to Rosica's mission message of mercy.