The logo and the motto together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The motto Merciful Like the Father (taken from the Gospel of 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 (cfr. Lk 6:37-38). The logo – the work of Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik – presents a small summa theologiae of the theme of mercy. In fact, it represents an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul demonstrating that it is the love of Christ 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 with 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, one’s own humanity and the future that lies ahead, contemplating, in his gaze, the love of the Father.
The scene is captured within the so called mandorla (the shape of an almond), a figure quite important in early and medieval iconography, for it calls to mind the two natures of Christ, divine and human. The three concentric ovals, with colors progressively lighter as we move outward, suggest the movement of Christ who carries humanity out of the night of sin and death. Conversely, the depth of the darker color suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father who forgives all.
Catholic composer Paul Inwood's composition Misericordes sicut Pater has been chosen as the official hymn of Year of Mercy. Its title, which is also its refrain, is the official Latin theme of the Year of Mercy and translates to "Merciful Like the Father." The verses feature lines from Scripture punctuated by the Latin phrase in aeternum misericordia eius, which means "his mercy is forever." The repetition of the Latin refrain makes the verses sound like a litany. Inwood states that his music is a mixture, with elements in the style of a Taize response and a Gelineau tone, a modern homage to chant often used today when singing the Psalms at Mass and other liturgies. The Gelineau tone, which allows for a wide variety of syllables to be sung in every bar, makes it easy to sing the verses in many different languages. Inwood formally signed over all rights to royalties from the song to the pontifical council so that it can be used around the world.