On Sunday 10 May, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church, Farm Street during a pastoral visit to the parish. In his homily, the Cardinal reflected upon the gift of God’s mercy as we approach the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis.
Cardinal Vincent set the theme by saying that, ‘with great attentiveness to our Holy Father, we are all to think deeply about what is meant by the mercy of God and about how it enters our lives and about all that this mercy asks of us.’
He went to explain that ‘in the person of Jesus we see God's mercy fully revealed’, ‘our destiny spelt out in full’ and ‘the remarkable way in which God makes it possible for us to attain that destiny.’
The Cardinal continued to make clear the meaning of mercy, saying that it ‘above all else is God's call to us to turn again to him, no matter the mess we may be in. God's mercy draws our eyes beyond our self-centredness, our preoccupation with our own sense of being acceptable or accepted, to see again the glory that he has for us if only we would let him shape our lives afresh. God’s mercy, in a word, is our opportunity for conversion.’
He went on to warn that ‘those who counterpose the mercy of God and the commandments of God misunderstand both mercy and commandment. The commandments of God are given to us precisely as a mercy.’
‘God's mercy is misunderstood if it is taken as something which enables us to overlook those commandments or somehow imagine that we are excused their calling,’ he emphasised.
He further reiterated that ‘it is the eternal restlessness of God's love calling us again and again to raise our eyes beyond the horizons we have set for ourselves,’ and ‘to reach out again for the fullness of his love, opening our hearts again to its light and joy.’
The full text of the Cardinal's homily can be found here.