Illustrations by Tomics

Our reflections on the Year of Mercy

  • November 18, 2016

To commemorate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Youth Speak News team reflected on the seven corporal works of mercy and how they incorporated each work into their daily life.

Hungry-webFeed the hungry

By Alister Vaz

I have grown up with an understanding of the importance of sharing what I have with the less fortunate.

This is the reason that I have always participated in food drives in my parish and at my school. But just like there are people without physical food, there are also people who lack spiritual food in their life.

Donating a few canned goods to satisfy physical hunger is easy, but spreading the Word of God to satisfy spiritual hunger requires a greater effort. We are all called to nourish those around us by spreading God’s word.

Thirsty-webGive drink to the thirsty

By Mae Fernandes

Last year, I helped a local group deliver Christmas hampers, including juice and milk, to needy families in our village. The 4-litre bags of milk and cans of juice I delivered are a staple in many of our households. But how often did I think about the families living in my community who can’t take this for granted?

Just as in my community, the world can be divided into those with and without access to something so fundamental as clean water. Remember our brothers and sisters in need and work to break down these boundaries.

Naked-webClothe the naked

By Rebecca Atkinson

My closet is always bursting at the seams with clothes. I have more clothing than any one person would ever need. While I have an overabundance, there are some who have so little.

Clothing offers protection and dignity. When I give away clothing I don’t need, it provides a comfort to those who have none. There’s something special in this. I am not able to physically bring clothing to those in poverty across the world. But with even a single sweater or a pair of jeans, I may touch a heart and bring Christ to someone.

Stranger-webWelcome the stranger

By Teresa Quadros

My parish, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Brampton, Ont., was blessed with a Holy Door and the fruits of mercy became prominent in the welcoming of the pilgrims visiting our church.

Whether it was welcoming pilgrims for Sunday Mass or welcoming guest speakers to preach the Good News, there was a warm sense of family and acceptance. In receiving these strangers into our church community, God’s mercy was experienced in the reality of friendship. When we welcome a stranger, we welcome Christ in them.

Sick-webVisit the sick

By Breanna Azevedo

Before volunteering at my local retirement home, I never understood how much of an impact strangers could have on each other.

Every week I met incredible people. We participated in daily activities, like iPad lessons and one-on-one visits. Because of my Portuguese background, I was assigned to Portuguese residents for one-on-one visits. We communicated in our native language and shared our common interests in foods, sport teams and hobbies.

I came out of my shell. I learned that even a friendly smile can go a long way. I also felt greatly impacted by mercy and love, making this experience one that I can’t wait to continue.

Imprisoned-webVisit the imprisoned

By Patrick Peori

While I may not have been imprisoned literally, until recently I definitely have been figuratively.

Over the past couple of years, I have been struggling with forgiveness. Struggling to forgive someone I felt wronged me. I was angry, felt betrayed and felt I was owed something.

But not seeking forgiveness was causing me more harm than good. The Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Year of Mercy has released me from the cell I was stuck in. Receiving God’s grace has given me the freedom and peace I can only find in Christ.

I am definitely grateful for the mercy God continuously offers me. Instead of being trapped in a cell of fear, I am surrounded with arms of love.

Dead-webBury the dead

By Alessia Loduca

I know that death is a part of life and as Catholics, we know it marks the beginning of our eternal life with God. But saying goodbye to my grandfather this past August was hard. In fact, “hard” is an understatement.

To bury a man I had lived with my whole life, whose smile brightened my darkest days and whose selflessness rendered him my role model, was impossibly difficult for me and my family. But we’re getting through it. We could not do this without prayer and each other.

Burying my grandfather was only half the battle. The rest of it is understanding that although his physical presence is gone, he is always with us. God has comforted us with the knowledge that my grandfather is in His care, along with my grandmother and other loved ones.

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