Scripture Reference: Matthew 15:21 –28
St. Padre Pio starts this day with this beautiful prayers, “Stay with me Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for you, a nest of love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgement, eternity approaches.” During a special national celebration such as Independence Day or infact, any day given special attention, nationally, the President or Governor exercises what is known as “prerogative of Mercy.” In doing this, some prisoners are set free before the expiration of their prison terms. Chief Judges during scheduled prison visits exercise the same prerogative of mercy. This exercise is successfully carried out because these personalities have the right backed by law to dispense mercy as they so wish. His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, said, “Mercy is an amazing attribute of God that makes His love visible and His compassion tangible. It is the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sins.”
Beloved, the God we serve is full of mercy and compassion. Hence the Psalmist exclaimed, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” (Psa. 52:8) The Gospel of Luke complements the Psalmist, this way, “His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.” (Lk. 1:52) Archbishop Martins says, “Like the running spring, God’s mercy never runs dry, no matter how many people draw from it.” This is because His mercy endures forever. (Psalms 136)Mercy therefore, is a disposition to pardon the guilt. Its exercise, consisting in arresting and setting aside the penalty of law when that penalty has been incurred by transgression. When man fell in Adam, he lost his integrity, but when he was reborn in Christ, his integrity was restored. Even then, man continues to fall in and out of sin; hence the Psalmist says, “. . . . What is man that you think of him, mere man that you care for him?” (Psa. 8:4) Like the prisoner, we are all guilty of one transgression and another. As a result of this, we are not worthy to share of God’s divine blessings, but for His mercy.
Our lead scripture talks of a woman who sought the assistance of our Lord, even though she was not qualified for such benefit. As a Gentile, she was not qualified and not a daughter of promise. Though, Jesus Christ, told her that she could not get the rights she was asking for, but His merciful heart overshadowed her status and sinful nature. In the same way, Jesus’ mercies overshadow our sins and we are set free. For the scripture says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Rom. 9:15) Beloved in Christ, it is out of His bowl of mercy that man receives God’s blessings and shall finally share in His glorious inheritance in Christ Jesus. None of us, not even one, should have been qualified, but for His mercy. Let no man therefore, boast of his holiness or righteousness because they are like filthy rags before God. Let us conclude today’s reflection in the words of St. Camillus de Lellis, “O Lord, I confess I am the most wretched of sinners, most undeserving of your favours, but saved by your infinite mercy.”
MASS: VIOLETEx 17: 3-7; Ps 95: 1-2. 6-7. 8-9; Rom 5: 1-2. 5-8; Jn 4: 5-42THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT. FIRST SCRUTINY OF THE ELECT.
Take the prayer of “Self Surrender to God”.
Lord, I acknowledge my sinful state, so I beseech You to please forgive and strengthen me with Your glorious hand of mercy.
I humbly trust that without Your mercy upon my life, I cannot be saved. O lord grant me the grace of Your mercy. In Jesus name. Amen.
Take the prayer of“St. Padre Pio” meditatively.
Take the prayer of “St. John Paul 11for Vocations”.
Exercise: Ensure that you take the Divine Mercy Prayer at 3:00 pm for the next three (3) days.
Meditation: Matthew 15:28