Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:7
Let us start today’s reflection with the words of Pope Francis, “Let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’. I always like to link the Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them. I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead. As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world.”
The theme of our reflection today, demonstrates this truth: we reap what we sow; those who show mercy will receive mercy. Likewise, those who know great mercy will show great mercy. This mercy is shown through forgiveness and also by offering kindness and compassion toward others. All of us pray for God’s mercy, it is His mercy that we seek, because every one of us have sinned and come short His glory. So the fervent prayer from a sincere heart should be “God be merciful to me a sinner.” For without mercy we will be hopeless. However, the irony of the reality is that despite our desire for mercy from God and those around us, it is often difficult to extend mercy to others. I have heard some say, “I cannot forgive, because I am right. Why should I forgive?” In June 28, 2013, a brother wrote this to me, “I am suffering right now the pains of betrayal, persecution and absence of love from those whom I have served with love giving them all of my time and goodwill and income. I feel so unloved and cheated of my inheritance by avaricious siblings I have never witnessed such evil from my family whom I served faithfully. I pray for healing and mercy for us all but I can’t help thinking if God is merciful to everyone then what separates those who try so hard to follow Him and those who go through life not caring about the pain they cause others when we all will be washed with his mercy? I trust in Him, I ‘m in pain and alone.” In truth, the mercy of God is incomprehensible, but we must realize the importance of mercy, for it shall be the standard of judgment at the end of our life. In the context of the outcome of our lives, we must not underestimate the quality of mercy. Jesus plainly asserts that the merciful are blessed, but there is much more to mercy. Perhaps no verse states its importance more clearly than James 2:13: “For God will not show mercy when he judges the person who has not been merciful; but mercy triumphs over judgment.” Does anyone not want a merciful judgment from God, before whom all must stand? Mercy is a quality given to us through His indwelling Spirit as we yield in obedience and cultivate it. Blessed are those who sow mercy through forgiveness, kindness and compassion, for they will reap mercy through forgiveness, kindness and compassion on the judgment day.
- Take this Prayer meditatively : “Help me, O Lord, …that my eyes may be merciful, so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbours’ souls and be of help to them; … that my ears may be merciful, so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints; … that my tongue may be merciful, so that I will never speak badly of others, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all; … that my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds;… that my feet may be merciful, so that I will hasten to help my neighbour, despite my own fatigue and weariness; … that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbour” in the name of Jesus-Amen” (Diary of Divine Mercy, 163).
- Take the beautiful prayer of St. Francis of Assisi in Section A.
Exercise: Take the Divine Mercy Prayers before you retire to bed today.
Memory Verse: Matthew 18:33