Study: Consider a time when you experienced mercy. What did it feel like?
Pray: Are you struggling to be merciful to someone right now? Ask the Lord for help!
Serve: Is there an act of mercy you can do for someone in need today? How can you make it happen?
The readings this Sunday could have been chosen for the Year of Mercy. Take a look:
- 1st Reading – “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites…”
- Psalm – “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
- 2nd Reading – “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength.”
- Gospel – Two men went to the Temple to pray…and the one who said, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner” was heard!
As Pope Francis constantly reminds us, the name of God is Mercy. Jesus shows us repeated examples of the mercy and love of the Father, inviting us to both receive God’s grace and then live with mercy toward one another.
It’s a simple message, direct and to the point. Yet we know from our own experience how hard it can be to practice mercy in our world today! We suffer injury, offense, misunderstanding and hassle in our daily interactions with one another. People get under our skin. We get angry. We lose our focus.
And thus this simple message continues to speak to our hearts, heal our souls, and guide us into the grace that comes when we foster forgiveness and pursue peace. Mercy is a practical application of the Great Commandment to love one another; mercy becomes our homework for holiness by which we put the example of Jesus into our own daily practice.
God’s mercy washes us clean and heals the wounds caused by sin. As we seek the Lord’s mercy in our lives, may we allow this gift of mercy to move through us and touch the lives of those we meet.