‘Misericordiae Vultus’ (the Face of Mercy) is the title of the document with which pope Francis announced the Year of Mercy. The face refers to the face of Jesus. Jesus shows us the human face of God. It is primarily a face of love and compassion, a face of mercy. This is quite profound but also difficult to comprehend. We probably need some time to let it sink in. That is why we have a whole year dedicated to the theme of mercy…

During this special time we may ask ourselves what this mercy means for each one of us. In order to do that, we may create space where we open our hearts to the loving presence of God. We may let this love flow through the areas in our lives where we experience woundedness and sinfulness and place this in the light of healing and forgiveness. It can happen in a space of reflection and prayer but also in the space which we attentively offer to each other.

Jesus’ own journey may inspire us. On the way to the cross we contemplate his suffering face but see also a face that is full of compassion with the women of Jerusalem, the criminal crucified next to him and his mother Mary and beloved disciple John.

This may give hope and help us to see the radiant face of the risen Christ as we celebrate the joy of Easter.