A Reflection by Sr. Michaelene - The Mercy of God
Have you ever listened to a reading and heard it – really heard the words – for the first time? That happened to me earlier this year on the day before Ash Wednesday when I heard this reading from the book of Sirach –
“…You who fear God, wait for his mercy…Compassionate and merciful is our God.” (Sir. 2: 1-1)
I was touched by these words and decided to make the mercy of God an important part of my Lenten prayer this year. It was easier than I thought, as there is such a wealth of references to God’s mercy in the Scriptures.
“Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned…Have mercy, O God, in your goodness.” (Ps. 51)
“God, let your mercy be upon us, as we place our trust in you.” (Ps. 33)
All through Lent, we heard the word “mercy” over and over…and we were gifted with confidence in our loving God.
In the Hebrew Scriptures quoted above, we hear about the attributes of God; in the New Testament, we are introduced to the Beatitudes, and among them, we hear – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matt. 5:7) The Beatitudes are more than beautiful phrases, they are also invitations to live in a new way; they challenge us to reflect the life of Jesus in our daily lives.
It was easy to hear and reflect on the mercy of God during Lent – there is so much evidence of it! The surprise was the realization that we are called not only to be the recipients of God’s mercy but to take up the mercy of God, to BE the mercy of God to others.
“Here we are, Lord! Send us to share your merciful love.” - Pope Francis
Happy Mercy Sunday!