On Good Friday for the last 30 years, Hope House in New Orleans has sponsored and organized “The Way of the Cross, the Way of Justice.” Several organizations, including the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates, are invited to walk through the streets of downtown New Orleans and re-enact the Stations to represent in some way themes and issues in today’s world, for example, the death penalty, immigration, fair housing, etc.
This year, one group based its re-enactment of Veronica wiping the face of Jesus on the Works of Mercy. In this Year of Mercy, these suggestions might be helpful to those of us who want to make this year more meaningful in our everyday lives.
Works of Mercy:
- Feed the hungry – how many children suffer hunger in my city? how can I help?
- Clothe the naked – is my “affluenza”/consumption hurting others
- Give drink to the thirsty – do I think about climate change? do I do anything?
- Visit the imprisoned – have I ever advocated for criminal justice or prison reform?
- Care for the sick – do I visit the sick? do I advocate for healthcare for the poor?
- Bury the dead – how could I ever help prevent deaths from violence? Can I help others mourn?
- Give shelter to the homeless – have I really tried to understand the immigration situation?
- Counsel the doubtful – have I been able to listen to others without judgement?
- Instruct the ignorant – do I use my voice wisely, lovingly, purposefully, effectively?
- Admonish sinners – do I get involved or just look away from any bad stuff around me?
- Comfort the sorrowful – do I reach out to others or just wait ‘til they come to me?
- Forgive all injuries – this is not easy, but is the alternative worth it?
Whatever we do or are doing, let’s not do it alone. Bring a friend to the action or the conversation. Let’s spread the works of mercy all over.