Pope Francis continues to draw the world’s attention to those who are poor and in need. He invites us to reach out to others with mercy and compassion. Each of us has a story: each of us has moments of brilliance and success, as well as times we are definitely poor and in need. It is precisely in such moments when we genuinely need the “mercy and compassion” about which Pope Francis speaks.
Today’s psalm reminds us that the needy will not be forgotten; those afflicted in any way will find hope. Tomorrow’s feast of Christ, the king and center of our lives, invites us to bring that part of our hearts that is afflicted or in need to the heart of Jesus. So what would happen if I invite Jesus into that part of myself where I experience doubt and shame and fear? What difference would there be if I let Jesus transform my anxieties and fears precisely through his life-giving mercy and holy compassion? And could it be that my own heart and soul become healed when I extend the compassion of Jesus, the mercy and hope of Jesus to those I live with and work with, to those I meet at work and on the street, or wherever my daily routine takes me? Come, Lord Jesus, let me be your hands and heart; help me share your mercy and compassion!
—The Jesuit prayer team