MISSION WEEK with Fr. Gabriel Bakkar, CRF – April 1—3 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Encountering God’s Mercy in the Sacraments
Is God’s mercy real? We profess it in our prayers and liturgy; we hear accounts of God’s mercy toward His children in Scripture; but believing that God is merciful for ourselves remains a big hurdle for us in receiving His mercy. The challenge comes in accepting His mercy for me. Each of us longs to experience, personally and profoundly, the healing love of God. But we often doubt that it is possible. This mission hopes to break down some of the barriers within each of us, so that we too can come to a deeper encounter with God’s Mercy.
Mercy is God’s greatest attribute. Mercy is when love meets suﬀering. The places of encounter with mercy are our suﬀering, from our own sin and its eﬀects, and other’s sin toward us. We look also at the role of forgiving others in encountering God’s mercy.
Mercy is the meeting of God’s love with our deepest need. God longs to heal our wounds of sin and suﬀering with His merciful love. How do we believe and receive this? Monday’s talk will illustrate places of encounter with God’s mercy. It will deal with the challenges we face in believing in God’s mercy and then show how various saints encountered God’s mercy, and how they lived out the beatitude “Blessed are the merciful.”
More than anything else, God the Father desires that His sons and daughters return to His love. We see this throughout the Scriptures and in the lives of the saints, as the Father’s voice is heard calling through the ages for His children to come home. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this call is made personal and practical. We are invited to bring our sins to the heart of God, and receive His mercy sacramentally and hear His words of forgiveness spoken through the priest. Tuesday will include an opportunity for all to receive God’s mercy through this sacrament.
This mission will conclude with the Holy Sacriﬁce of the Mass. God is inﬁnite, but in His mercy He made Himself small so that we might be able to receive Him. Our focus here is on encountering God’s merciful love in the Eucharist. We will see the devotion of various saints to the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith. We receive God Himself under the appearance of bread and wine. As we receive Jesus, physically and spiritually, Mass becomes the place from which we are sent. We will see those to whom we are sent through the merciful eyes of the Father.