The Year of Mercy Symbol
On the Door of Mercy at the Cathedral, and now within the Cathedral, we have a significant display of the official symbol/logo for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The symbol is the work of Fr Marko I. Rupnik, and is the common official symbol for the whole world. Here today I would like to offer an explanation of the symbol as it was described by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation.
He says….. The symbol represents a full theology of the theme of mercy and the motto which accompanies it. The motto “Merciful Like the Father” (Luke 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn, but to forgive and to give love and forgiveness without measure. “It is an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon His shoulders the lost soul, demonstrating that it is Christ’s love that brings to completion the mystery of His incarnation culminating in redemption. The logo has been designed in such a way so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love that has the power to change one’s life. “One particular feature worthy of note is that while the Good Shepherd, in His great mercy, takes humanity upon Himself, His eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, his or her own humanity and the future that lies ahead. “The scene is enclosed in a mandorla, an element typical of ancient and medieval iconography. that recalls the coexistence of the two natures, divine and human, in Christ. The three concentric ovals, with colours progressively lighter as we move outward, suggest the movement of Christ Who carries humanity out of the darkness of sin and death. Conversely, the depth of the darker colour suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father Who forgives all.
The symbol attached to the Door of Mercy, along with the banners in the Cathedral, will remain in place for the whole of the Year of Mercy. We will be changing the coloured banners in the Cathedral to coincide with the liturgical seasons of the Church’s Year. As we meditate on the meaning of the symbol through this year, may we be blessed with the joy of God’s mercy, and find ways to extend this mercy to others.
Fr David Pascoe