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  Echoing the Word February 2016  
  Vol. 15 No. 1, The God of Mercy    
Leaving Space for Mercy
Veronica Lawson explores the meaning of mercy in the Bible by focusing on three Gospel texts: the healing of Bartimaeus, Matthew’s Beatitudes and the widow of Nain.
 Editorial
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The God of Mercy
This issue of Echoing the Word heeds the call of Pope Francis for us to reflect on Mercy. God is all merciful, we are invited to be merciful as God is merciful.
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 Scripture
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Resenting a Merciful God
Using the parables of the Prodigal Son and Jonah, Stuart Moran looks at the difficult challenge of being merciful. We often resent the mercy shown to others who we consider undeserving.
 
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 Reviews & Resources
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Children's Literature
Jan Grajczonek reviews Moon by Matt Zurbo, My Name is Lizzie Flynn: A Story of the Rajah Quilt by Claire Saxby, and One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly.
 
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Resources for Religious Education
Melanie Dooner reviews Misericordiae Vultus by Pope Francis, I Forgive You – Love We Can Hear, Ask For and Give by Nicole Lataif and Bring Forth Hope by Christopher Ryan.
 
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 Liturgies & Activities
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How Could A Shepherd Teach Us About God's Mercy?
Using a series of questions and instruction Beth Nolen takes students through a process to investigate the metaphor of shepherds and how this image of God speaks of mercy.
 
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Mercy
Anne Victor uses various Scripture stories to explore mercy. The activity profiles Jesus as a person of mercy who helped others. The activity concludes with a simple penitential rite.
 
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Mercy Is One of God's Names
A Ritual Celebrating God's Mercy and Our Call to be People of Mercy in Our Daily Lives
In this ritual Jennifer Callanan celebrates God’s mercy and the places mercy is shown in our lives and our world.
 
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What Are The Corporal Works of Mercy?
Beth Nolen presents a way of investigating the corporal works of mercy with students. Students reflect on Matthew 25:31-46 and apply the text to their own lives using questions for each work of mercy.
 
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What is Mercy?
Anne Victor explores the question “What is mercy?” in her activity for early years’ classes. She uses children’s literature to explore mercy and finishes with a short class prayer service.
 
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  Featured Articles
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Book Review: The Blessing of Mercy
Biblical Perspectives and Ecological Challenges
Francis Moloney reviews Sr Veronica Lawson's book, The Blessing of Mercy. This rich resource explores the biblical expressions of mercy, and should be pondered by teachers and catechists during this year of Mercy.
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Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter
50th World Communication Day Message
Each year the Pope writes a message concerning issues of communication for World Communication Day. This year Pope Francis focuses on the relationship between communication and mercy. Communication which leads to mercy demands both listening and acceptance; knowing how to listen is an “immense grace”.
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  Theology
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Mercy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Denise Braddon gives an overview of the sacrament of Reconciliation and its significants during the Year of Mercy. She looks at the importance of contrition, confession and conversion in the sacrament.
 
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We Are the Mercy of God
Tony Densley looks at the Christian vocation to “incarnate” the mercy of God. He explores the concepts of empathy and prejudice in relation to mercy.
 
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  Social Justice
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Where There Is No Mercy There Is No Justice
Peter Arndt explores the relationship between justice and mercy, asserting that in the Catholic tradition there is no justice without mercy. He looks at two social justice statements put out by the Australian Bishops as concrete examples of the relationship between mercy and justice.
 
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  Movies
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Paper Planes
Jan Epstein reviews the Australian movie Paper Planes. The movie explores themes such as determination, empowerment, resilience in times of challenge and the power of encouragement and support in the lives of young people.
 
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  Religious Literacy
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The Jubilee Year of Mercy in the Early Years
Jan Grajczonek presents one way of exploring mercy with early years students using the story of Zacchaeus. The strategies explore the mercy of God and how we can show mercy in our lives.
 
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