Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Lord, Have Mercy!"


The Church is providing rich resources for daily prayer for this Jubilee Year of Mercy.  We have been consoled, encouraged, and, yes, chastised, by the writings from the Early Church Fathers, Sacred Scripture, and pastoral writings compiled for the "Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion". We will post from time to time some of the writings and prayers that are encouraging us as we join The Church in learning to offer "more evident signs of God's presence and closeness" by exercising mercy.

"Jesus' fifth beatitude--'Blessed are the merciful' --embodies a major part of the Christian message. The paradox is that mercy is evidently offered on the principle of stern justice. The mercy we show is precisely the mercy we receive. For most of us, this apppears a little concerning. It is not easy to forgive. The human heart is petty-minded, a connate master of grudge-holding.

The parable of the unforgiving servant makes this unpleasant point quite well. Here Luke comes wonderfully to the rescue. 'Forgive and you will be forgiven./Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you' (Luke 6:37-38).

The picture is not of a miserly God, who weighs out every ounce. God is more like a friendly grocer who stuffs as much within the measuring cup we bring as he possibly can, then heaps it up until it is spilling out. There is a real proportion between what we do and what we get; we make our own measuring cup; but such justice is always--thank God!--slanted generously toward mercy."

--Father Anthony Giambrone, O.P.

Lord God, may our every thought, word, and deed be "slanted generously toward mercy".  Amen



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