Year of Mercy – Clothe the Naked

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and merciful God, look with compassion on our affliction, and so lighten your children’s burden and confirm their faith, that they may always trust without hesitation in your gracious providence. Amen.

READ LUKE 10:25-37

PSALM 42

R./ But you, Lord, my strength, come quickly to help me.

Like water my life drains away; all my bones are disjointed. My heart has become like wax, it melts away within me. R./

As dry as a potsherd is my throat; my tongue cleaves to my palate; you lay me in the dust of death. R./

I can count all my bones. They stare at me and gloat; they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots. R./

Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the grip of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls. R./

INTERCESSIONS

That all governments provide the basic necessities of life to the most vulnerable people among their constituents, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

That the Church will always make service to the poor a primary means of manifesting its love for God and neighbor, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

That Christians everywhere will be moved to share their blessings, both spiritual and material, with those who are less fortunate, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

That those who are without adequate clothing, either for living or for employment, will be given what they require for a dignified life, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

That people who find themselves naked in the sense of being abandoned by family and society will receive the comfort and aid they need, we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.

Our Father…

CLOSING PRAYER

Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy (excerpt)

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.

We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

REFLECTION BY CYNTHIA QUINTANILLA

Executive Director, Catholic Charities Diocese of Lubbock

The naked–who are they? In our country brimming with abundance, why is there still a need to clothe the naked? Why do we encounter so many families not able to make enough to provide all the necessities? Many people stay busy and turn a blind eye to what is going on around them. We are in control of our own lives, doing what we want to do, and going where we want to go. We are stuck in our ways, and the struggle to see that someone is in need can sometimes take a back seat to our own concerns. But God, in all his goodness, is able to get our attention through His Word and through the Eucharist, to show us where our priorities need to be: “Be careful to observe this whole commandment that I enjoin on you today, that you may live and increase” (Deut. 8:1).

Clothing the naked is literally what takes place in our agency, thanks to our Catholic Charities Resale Center volunteers, a group of committed seniors who have put in many years of hard work to make sure that these needs of our brothers and sisters are met. They work tirelessly to see that donated items are processed each week so that they can be sold or given to families in need. These volunteers know where their priorities are and hold in their hearts a desire to help others. Faithful workers, they show up every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. to start their weekly chores. Yet, to call it a “chore” is not even compatible with the joy that they experience doing the tedious work required of them each week. This group of seniors has formed a bond of friendship, and they have seen several members enter into heavenly glory. Even though they may consider their days to be numbered, they continue doing the will of God in making sure that the poor people are taken care of. Our volunteers unselfishly live their lives doing God’s work to bring about His Kingdom here on earth.

SPIRITUAL WORK OF MERCY

To “Admonish Sinners” is a venerable practice highly recommended in the New Testament. It requires discernment for the appropriate time and the right motivation. Correction of this sort should not be made as a judgment, but rather as a service of truth and love offered by one sinner to another leading the person to reconciliation and new life.

QUOTE OF MERCY

“It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must ‘put on Christ’ as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, ‘You did it to Me.’ On the last day He will say to those on His right, ‘whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me.’” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, from her address at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 3, 1994.