“It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” – Mt. 18:14

This Advent I am grateful for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy the Pope declared last year. I am invited this year to focus on what I have learned about mercy and put it in practice.

What I have learned is that God’s mercy is tireless. God always seeks me and others who wander; God constantly desires to be close, no matter what we do or what happens. Today’s Gospel is an example of that indefatigable, stubborn love and faithfulness that God has for me (and for all God’s creation). Jesus invites me to understand that God does not tire in giving us all of who God is. God is always seeking me. Because I am always worthy. Our brothers and sisters around me are always worth, too. No matter what.

This Gospel illustrates that God even rejoices in seeking and finding us. Our union is a delight to God!

I commit myself this Advent to practice this lesson. I am challenging myself to be more aware of the temptations I have to believe or act in ways that suggests, even subtly, that someone else (or myself) is not worthy of mercy, love, inclusion, and reconciliation that God gives so freely. I want to live in the way that reflects God’s mercy. In this way, I hope to “prepare the way of the Lord” during Advent.

What have I learned about mercy this year? How am I called to live mercy in my life, especially as I prepare for Mercy to be birthed into the world on Christmas? This Advent I ask for the graces needed to live more mercifully with less restrictions and limitations.

Vivian Valencia