I recall that, not more than two years into his papacy, Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of Mercy, reminding us that love “can never be just an abstraction” (Misericordiae Vultus) and that God’s mercy is manifested in his actions towards us. Likewise, in his Letter, St. James reminds us that faith without works is dead.
As children of God, made in God’s image, we are called to make God’s mercy tangible for others. One of the ways we do this is by working for justice—working to remove obstacles and structures that stand in the way of people living in right relationship with one another. During this Lenten season, may we commit ourselves to making God’s love and mercy concrete and tangible by striving for justice in our homes, communities, nation, and world. May the love that flows from God into our hearts never be an abstraction.