Jubilee Year

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On September 11, 2021, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles began a Jubilee Year to mark the 250th anniversary of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first church founded in what is now the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, on September 8, 1771.


In the Church’s tradition, a jubilee is far more than an anniversary celebration. A jubilee gives glory and praise to God and, in the words of Jesus and the prophets, a jubilee is “a year of the Lord’s favor.”


Every Jubilee is a season of mercy and many graces, as we renew our belief that all time and history belong to the Creator, and that in his Providence he has a plan and purpose for every person and every nation under heaven.
With the founding of San Gabriel Mission by St. Junípero Serra and the first peoples of this land, God began a new chapter in salvation history, planting the seeds of his kingdom in southern California, seeds that have borne fruit in a beautiful local Church that embraces peoples from every race, language, and nationality.


This jubilee also reminds us that America has a Christian “soul,” that the freedoms and values that our country upholds are rooted in the Gospel proclaimed by St. Junípero and countless missionaries who offered their lives to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to this land.


That mission of bringing Jesus Christ to America continues in our lives. That is the deeper spiritual meaning of this jubilee — the rediscovery that to be a Catholic means to be a missionary.


In the biblical tradition, the jubilee was marked by specific practices — canceling debts, freeing slaves, returning property to its original owners, letting the land “rest” from farming.


With our jubilee, too, we are also inviting people to adopt new habits of devotion — to pray together with family members and neighbors; to study the Gospels in the spirit of prayerful reading or lectio divina; and to perform acts of charity and works of mercy.


The point of these practices is, again, to realize that our time belongs to God.


We are not just “here” in this world. Each one of us was put here by the living God for a purpose. We are here to make a difference for Jesus for his kingdom. We have a duty to sanctify our time or “redeem the time,” as the apostles used to say.