God's mercy is a central theme in the Old Testament. As we begin Lent the prophet Joel encourages us: "Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love (2:13.)" In many different books of the Old Testament these same words are used to describe God.
Mercy is the theme that Pope Francis has asked us to focus on during this Holy Year. It is perfect that we are reading this year from the Gospel according to Luke who shows us a merciful Jesus whose parable of the Merciful Father/Prodigal Son can guide us through this Lent.