As many of you know, Pope Francis inaugurated a Holy Year of Mercy last December 8th. It is a special Jubilee Year during which extra graces (indulgences) are available to whoever makes a pilgrimage to any of the many sites around the world. (An indulgence is the forgiveness of temporal punishment due to sin.) While Rome would be wonderful, we have sites right here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore – the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the Basilica of the Assumption, St. Mary’s Annapolis, the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, and the Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton. To obtain the grace of an indulgence, simply go to confession, receive Holy Communion, go to a designated shrine/church and say a prayer for the pope’s intentions. Only one indulgence can be received each day, but you can go other days.
This week’s gospel (Luke 15:1-3,11-32) shows us how complete an indulgence can be as we hear the story of the Prodigal Son who finally came to his senses and returned home to his father. This indulgent father totally forgave him without any recrimination and restored him to his former position in the family. That’s what God wants for all of us during this Holy Year of Mercy.
What a great blessing! Why not come to confession, receive Holy Communion, and make a pilgrimage this week as we get ready for Easter?
- Fr. Carl
“Are you falsely accused, or loaded with insults?
It is a good sign; don’t worry about it.
You are on the road which leads to heaven.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars