In less than a week, Pope Francis will officially inaugurate the Jubilee of Mercy by opening the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Soon after, Holy Doors will be opened in cathedrals and shrine throughout the world, and we will enter into a year-long celebration of God’s mercy and opportunity to grow in the way we show mercy in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis has repeatedly identified preaching at Mass as one of the most important tasks of bishops, priests, and deacons in helping to form missionary disciples. The Jubilee of Mercy can provide a structure for sustained, ongoing preaching on a common theme. The following preaching plan proposes two phases of preaching during the Jubilee of Mercy. The first phase begins on the Second Sunday of Advent, immediately prior to the opening of the Jubilee Year, and continues intermittently through the Easter Season. It focuses on the major themes of the Jubilee Year – mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and jubilee. The second phase is spread through Ordinary time in the summer and fall of 2016 and provides suggested links in the Sunday Lectionary readings to preach individually on each of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

This preaching plan can serve as a guide for those who preach at Mass, with each homilist able to decide for himself when to focus on the given themes. Especially during phase one, there are many and varied opportunities provided by the Lectionary to preach on themes of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It could also be possible to use these Lectionary connections to guide parish faith formation programs, small group discussions, or any of a variety of other parish or school programs. A downloadable file of the Jubilee of Mercy Preaching Plan can be found here.

Logo for Holy Year of Mercy

Jubilee of Mercy Preaching Plan


Phase I – Mercy, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation

Dec. 6, 2015 – Second Sunday of Advent (1, G, C) – Mercy and Forgiveness

Jan. 10, 2016 – Baptism of the Lord (2) – Mercy

Jan. 24, 2016 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (1, G) – Jubilee/Holy Year

Feb. 10, 2016 – Ash Wednesday (1, Ps, 2) – Jubilee/Mercy

Feb. 28, 2016 – 3rd Sunday of Lent (Ps, C) – Mercy

March 6, 2016 – 4th Sunday of Lent (2, G) – Reconciliation

March 13, 2016 – 5th Sunday of Lent (G) – Forgiveness

April 3, 2016 – 2nd Sunday of Easter (C, Ps, G) – Divine Mercy, Reconciliation

April 10, 2016 – 3rd Sunday of Easter (G) – Mercy, Forgiveness

May 5/8, 2016 – The Ascension of the Lord (2, G) – Mercy, Forgiveness


Phase II – Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

June 5, 2016 – 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (1, G) – Bury the Dead

June 12, 2016 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (1, G) – Forgive Offenses

June 19, 2016 – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (G) – Counsel the Doubtful

July 3, 2016 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (G) – Visit the Sick

July 10, 2016 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (G) – Clothe the Naked

July 17, 2016 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (1) – Welcome the Stranger

Aug. 14, 2016 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (1) – Feed the Hungry

Aug. 21, 2016 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (2) – Admonish Sinners

Aug. 28, 2016 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (G) – Give Drink to the Thirsty

Sept. 4, 2016 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (2) – Visit the Imprisoned

Sept. 11, 2016 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2) – Bear Wrongs Patiently

Sept. 18, 2016 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2) – Pray for the Living and the Dead

Sept. 25, 2016 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (G) – Comfort the Afflicted

Oct. 16, 2016 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2) – Instruct the Ignorant


Key to Abbreviations: 1 – First Reading; Ps – Responsorial Psalm; 2 – Second Reading; G – Gospel; C – Collect