Opening Doors of Mercy – the main theme for 2015-2016 (Huron Superior CDSB)

Huron Superior CDSB has produced a resource that supports their theme for the year, “Opening the Doors of Mercy”. This is also the theme of Catholic Education Week for 2016.

Mercy – compassion, forgiveness, extending help to the needy. The mercy of God is limitless.” Look It Up! Over 600 Definitions for Catholic Kids and Their Parents and Teachers, page 54

The scripture passage for our main theme is

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Mt. 5:7

The themes of mercy which we will open the doors to this year:

  • Mercy that Welcomes – Woman at the Well (Jn 4:1-42)
  • Mercy that Loves – The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
  • Mercy that Forgives – The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
  • Mercy that Lives the Gospel – Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
  • Mercy that Rejoices – Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 5:17-26)

These passages of scripture give us an idea of what mercy looks like and acts like.

Corporal Works of Mercy

“Seven acts of kindness that show respect for the bodies of other human beings by relieving their physical needs. Corporal works of mercy are performed out of love for God and neighbour.” Look It Up! Over 600 Definitions for Catholic Kids and Their Parents and Teachers, pages 21-22

The seven corporal works of mercy are:

  • Feed the hungry.
  • Give drink to the thirsty.
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Visit the imprisoned.
  • Shelter the homeless.
  • Visit the sick.
  • Bury the dead.

Spiritual Works of Mercy

“Acts of charity that are performed for those who have a spiritual need.” Look It Up! Over 600 Definitions for Catholic Kids and Their Parents and Teachers, page 73

The seven spiritual works of mercy are:

  • Admonish the sinner.
  • Instruct the ignorant.
  • Counsel the doubtful.
  • Comfort the sorrowful.
  • Bear wrongs patiently.
  • Forgive all injuries.
  • Pray for the living and the dead.

Mercy in the City by Kerry Weber ~ a reflection on mercy

“…Ten years later the charism [gift of the Holy Spirit] of Mercy still speaks to me. And my experience with the Works of Mercy has helped me to understand the responsibility each of us has toward one another. It has helped me to see how my faith must be a choice, how easy it is to become complacent, the need to remind myself to respond to the gospel call to Mercy. The good thing is that there are so many ways to say yes. Mercy is not something we bestow upon one another from on high in a sort of grand gesture, but rather something much quieter, more humble. It is an invitation, an openness, a kind of accompanying. To give mercy is a kind of emptying out of oneself, out to make room for the love for another. With our lives we make Mercy a verb – mercying as Pope Francis put it. The purpose of living a life of mercy is to let one another know that no one has to go it alone. To provide a place where people will accept you, even with your flaws” Excerpt from book by the same title.

Parts of the Mass which emphasize mercy of God

At the beginning of mass after the greeting we have the Penitential Act that can be prayed in English or the traditional Greek. It may be fun to teach your class a little Greek. Make sure you have the pronunciation correct.

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart:

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

or Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie, eleison.

You came to call sinners:

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

or Christe, eleison. Christe, eleison.

You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Or Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie, eleison.

At this point in mass, we are acknowledging our failures so that we can participate in the sacrament full of praise and thanksgiving. We ask Jesus to forgive our sins and to pray for us.

After the Sign of Peace the priest puts a small piece of host into the chalice and prays:

May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Then we pray or sing the Lamb of God.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Jesus is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, through his passion and death. We invite Jesus to have mercy on us before we eat his body and drink his blood in the Eucharist.

In the ancient times the People of God used to sacrifice a lamb to show how much they loved God. The lamb was white and perfect. When Jesus died on the cross, he became the lamb of sacrifice for us for all time.

He does not have any sin, so he is a good person to ask God for mercy and peace for us.


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