Central Region Essay Contest winner

The winners of the Central Region  2016 essay contest were introduced at the May 7, 2016 meeting at Epiphany of the Lord Church. They are as follows:  J.R. Gray, 1st place Bishop John Carroll School; Ketaya Sparks, 2nd place St. Philip Neri School and 3rd place, Nicholas Howard, St. Philip Neri School.

We’d like to share J.R.’s Essay with everyone, so here it is!

This year of mercy that has been called on by Pope Francis is something that I never really was interested in or did any research on, because I simply thought it was something like a “fad” that would die down soon, that it was some pointless awareness calling around the church. But as I looked into not only the year of mercy, but the works of mercy, our Lord’s mercy, and even the definition of mercy, I saw that it is not only the most overlooked good of humanity by people these days, but one of the most important. It has a part in every day of our lives, and as a part of the Church, it is my duty to show it.

I first researched the meaning of mercy, and the many different ways society today takes it. When I thought of mercy, I thought of sparing someone, by NOT doing, but I soon learned that mercy was the opposite of not doing. I learned a lot about mercy from the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They taught me that mercy is so much more than sparing. It is giving to less fortunate, getting your hands dirty, to see those in need of love, that anyone can teachothers about God, that I an do right and accept when I’m wrong, and help others to be right, the works of mercy is something that should be known by all, and I know Pope Francis knew thesame thing. He knew we were all capable of mercy, no matter who you are, what race you are,what religion you are, and that mercy is a big thing that anybody can do. I know that I can teach others about mercy, and that more importantly, I will teach others about mercy. I’ve always been told that everyone can be a saint, bit I never saw it in such a big way until now.

All in all, I finally see what mercy truly means, and I understand why Pope Francis called the year of mercy. Mercy as a whole needs awareness, and we all definitely as humans need to show more mercy to each other. But someday God comes to separate the sheep from the goats, he will see the ones full of mercy, full of love, the ones who followed the works of mercy, the ones who treated all like Jesus, and the one who loved his neighbor as much as themselves.


J.R. Gray