Let me do a bit of a throwback of my Jubilee of Mercy experience.
Jubilee of Mercy was celebrated last year. A period of prayer which started last December 2015 and ended November 2016.
In usccb.org, the celebration was described as:
“The jubilee year was called every fifty years and was a time for forgiveness. It stood as a reminder of God’s providence and mercy. The dedication of a year for this emphasis provided the community with a time to come back into right relationship with one another and with God. As the practice of the jubilee year was adopted into the Catholic Church, these themes of mercy, forgiveness, and solidarity continued.”
With the majority of the Filipinos being Roman Catholics, the celebration of Jubilee of Mercy has been of a more fun journey without losing its solemnity. A program was launched by the local Catholic Church inviting pilgrims to visit assigned Manila churches. Each assigned church has its own designated place wherein pilgrims can reflect. A prayer guide was also provided.
My experience of completing the journey has been very meaningful. It’s meaningful primarily because I was able to reflect and repent, making my relationship with God stronger. I also get to visit different churches in Metro Manila which in a regular day I may not be able to do so. It’s touching to see how other families and groups strengthen their relationship with God while enjoying the experience of being together. That being mentioned, my experience has been more meaningful since I get to be closer to God with my family beside me all through out the experience. Together, we have strengthen our faith to the one who’s always been the center of our family, together we have conquered the challenge and these things brings the experience closest to my heart. It was an opportunity to spend time with each other because of our faith. The families that we saw, the group of friends, the church leaders, we became a stronger community of God by this experience.
To conclude, the journey based on my observation can be summarized by a simple cliche statement, “A community that prays together stays together”. Our nation may currently divided by so many factors but with faith there is always hope that we can be one. The idea of the pilgrimage is a good way of taking the journey of faith to a whole new level. At least, pilgrims doesn’t need to be in Rome to experience the journey. 🙂