Tuesday, November 10, 2015

4 short bulletin announcements to explain the Jubilee Year

 CLICK HERE for a google doc of the wording below.

What is a Jubilee Year?

In the ancient Hebrew tradition, the Jubilee Year, which was celebrated every 50 years, was meant to restore equality among all of the children of Israel, offering new possibilities to families which had lost their property and even their personal freedom.

The Catholic tradition of the Holy Year began in 1300.  From 1475 onwards – in order to allow each generation to experience at least one Holy Year – the ordinary Jubilee was to be celebrated every 25 years. However, an extraordinary Jubilee may be announced on the occasion of an event of particular importance.

The Catholic Church has given to the Hebrew Jubilee a more spiritual significance. It consists in a general pardon, an indulgence open to all, and the possibility to renew one’s relationship with God and neighbor. Thus, the Holy Year is always an opportunity to deepen one’s faith and to live with a renewed commitment to Christian witness.

With the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis focuses attention upon the merciful God who invites all men and women to return to Him. The encounter with God inspires in one the virtue of mercy.

The most recent extraordinary Jubilee Years were those in 1933, to celebrate 1,900 years of Redemption and in 1983, on the occasion of the 1,950 years of Redemption.

What is Marian Consecration?
St. John Paul II calls the Marian Consecration Devotion "the decisive turning point" of his life.  In simplest terms, we give ourselves to Mary to be formed into the image of her Son.

Put another way, Marian Consecration or Entrustment is to give ourselves to Jesus through Mary so that she can bring us to the pierced side of Jesus, which is the Fountain of Mercy.

St. Louis de Montfort said that a total consecration to Jesus through Mary is the quickest, easiest, surest and most perfect" path to becoming a saint.

How does Marian Consecration help us enter the Jubilee Year?

According to Pope Francis, it's Mary who will prepare us for the Year of Mercy.  For instance, in the document that establishes this extraordinary time of grace for the Church, he asked that "the sweetness of [Mary's] countenance might watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God's tenderness."

Pope Francis decided that the Year of Mercy should begin on December 8th "when we remember and celebrate Mary's greatest experience of God's mercy:  her being preserved from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin." This was an act of mercy she did nothing to deserve.  Rather it came as a totally free gift at the very moment when she came to be.  Because Mary knows the free gift of God's mercy more than any other creature, she wants us to know it too.

By beginning the Year of Mercy consecrating to Jesus through Mary, we will enter in more deeply to experience God's mercy and then be able to share it better with others.

What should we do if we'd like to consecrate during the Jubilee Year of Mercy?

One of the best ways to consecrate is to use the retreat materials of 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley.  In his retreat, you read just two pages a day from the book, answer a couple of questions from the retreat companion and ponder them throughout the day.  Then weekly, for six weeks, you watch a video lecture by Fr. Gaitley to summarize the preparation.  The retreat can be done alone, but we highly recommend doing it in small groups either when _____________parish offers it or in your home with friends and family using your parish subscription to www.FORMED.org.  For more information or help in getting a group started, contact (NAME) at (E-MAIL ADDRESS).

Consecrating during the Jubilee year will give you many spiritual benefits, CLICK here for a list of start dates and consecration dates. 

Thanks to Laura Rieder for sharing these.

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