Pictured right: Pope Francis is greeted by the faithful at Blonia Park during World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
As part of this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis designated a Holy Door at St. Peter’s in Rome, and asked that all Bishops establish a particular door in each diocesan cathedral that would be available as a pilgrimage site for everyone. The door itself is a symbol in recognition of Christ – the sole door through which we enter salvation (Jn 10:9) and the one way that leads to the Father. (Jn 14:6)
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Mt 18:21-35) challenges each of us to respond to the immense mercy we have received from the Father by showing that same mercy to our neighbor. At the same time, this parable reminds us that there are serious consequences for our failing to do so.
The parable begins with Peter asking Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus replies by telling Peter that he must forgive not seven times, but 77 times.
Feast day: September 23
Devoted to Christ from his childhood in Italy, where he was baptized Francesco Forgione, St. Padre Pio became a Capuchin friar at age 15. Five years after he entered the priesthood, shortly after the dawn of World War I, Padre Pio was called into military service. His service was short-lived, however, because of severe illness.
Dear Father Joe: To be a good Christian witness, is it enough to be a good person – or do I have to talk about Jesus?
Thank you for your question: It’s an important one. Often, when we imagine ourselves talking about Jesus to co-workers or friends, it comes across as an uncomfortable requirement, instead of an organic reality that comes about from living our faith well. What I’d encourage us to do is get us out of the either/or idea and into the both/and.
Tekakwitha, born in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin mother and Mohawk father, embraced a life of gentle service to others from an early age. She and her family contracted smallpox when she was a child; she was scarred from the disease and lost her family to it. Although her uncle took her in, he treated Tekakwitha as a slave. She found solace, however, in listening to the “blackrobes,” or Jesuit missionaries who visited her village, and would meditate often on their teachings.