January

2016


Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful
Lk 6: 36
Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. Beginning from and with creation, and throughout history, God has revealed His mercy to human beings unceasingly. The mercy of God is endless and limitless. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness. The mercy of God is not an abstract theory or an unattainable dream. It is so very real and is the character of God, who manifests mercy through the person of Jesus. Throughout his public life, Jesus personifies mercy in all his words and deeds. From healing of sickness (Mk.1:41) to comforting and forgiving sinners (Lk 7:41), the character and acts of mercy are revealed many times. Jesus speaks about the mercy through parables and mercy is described in terms of a three-way relationship. We can refer to this three persons as "he, I, and the other." This threefold relationship in the parables of mercy is intentional. This structure implies a message we cannot overlook. The mercy of God is often linked to the mercy displayed by human beings and does not occur in a vacuum or merely in terms of "my" relationship to God. "Be merciful, even as [and because] your Father is merciful" (Lk 6: 36) is the central architectural beam of mercy in parable form. Mercy is not a natural virtue that depends on a person's character; the most virtuous person is not necessarily more merciful than someone else. Instead mercy is a question of an inner disposition that matures as one spend time with Jesus. As we enter the year of mercy, let us be mindful of Jesus's words that gently urges to be merciful just as the Father is merciful. In other words, Jesus is calling all of us once again to immerse ourselves in the Trinitarian life and embrace the merciful character of God. Let us open ourselves to the unending and limitless mercy of God, be transformed by this grace and become merciful children of a merciful Father.
The Good Lord knows everything; even before you make your confession he already knows that you will sin again and yet he forgives you. How great is the Love of our God, who goes so far as to voluntarily forget the future, in order to forgive us
St. John Vianney
Jesus' attitude is striking: we do not hear the words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, which are an invitation to conversation. "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again." Ah! Brothers and Sisters, God's face is the face of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God's patience, the patience He has with each one of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, patience with us, He understands us, He waits for us, He does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to Him with a contrite heart. "Great is God's mercy," says the Psalm.
Pope Francis, Angelus on March 17, 2013
Being merciful and kind towards the wicked and the ungrateful is not only an action of the Father, but it is a criterion for ascertaining that we are His children. Seeking Lord's Mercy, let us closely examine our intentions, attitudes, and behaviours that we show in our daily life. Let's pray for a spirit of forgiveness and for a loving concern for the people around us. Let this desire for the well being of others make us conscious and responsible to respond to the scarcity and lack of resources of the poor and needy. Mother Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us. Hail Mary...