Throughout the readings from Mass this Sunday, we hear of God’s mercy. In the first reading, David shows mercy toward the King Saul (1 Samuel 26:2-23), as David surely deepened his friendship with God by showing such mercy. We sing of God’s kindness and mercy in Psalm 103. Saint Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ, in His great mercy, has a heavenly plan for us (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). And in the Gospel, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells us directly, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” instructing us to show God’s loving forgiveness in our words and deeds (Luke 6:27- 38). Jesus exhorts us to pray for those who persecute us, to do good without expecting anything in return, to realize that the measure with which we measure will in return be measured out to us.
Amazingly, by God’s grace, we can both receive and communicate God’s mercy, His loving forgiveness. When we receive His grace in the Sacraments (the Holy Eucharist and Confession, for example), Jesus Christ enfolds us in His infinite mercy and He strengthens us to be instruments of His mercy and love, to live the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, charitable actions where we help our neighbors in their spiritual and bodily necessities (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2447).
Regarding spiritual and corporal works of mercy, Jesus said that as you did it for one of the least of My brothers and sisters, you did it for Me (Matthew 25:31-46; Isaiah 58; Hebrews 13); and He tells us to: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; visit the sick; visit the imprisoned; and bury the dead. In Sacred Scripture and Church history, God calls us to: counsel the doubtful; instruct the ignorant; admonish the sinner; comfort the sorrowful; forgive injuries; bear wrongs
patiently; and pray for the living and the dead.
We can do works of mercy right now by praying for: the dead; the mourning; the sick, injured and suffering; moms, dads and their babies; strong marriages; the elderly; the orphaned and widowed; the jobless; the homeless; and all those committed to helping others. We can feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless by participating in such organizations as our Knights of Columbus and
Council of Catholic Women, helping with our Family Promise host weeks, and giving of our time and treasure to our local food pantry and thrift stores, and to various Catholic charities, including such pro-life groups as Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, Clarity Clinic in Platteville, Women’s Care Center in Madison, and Priests for Life. Let us continue to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, to pray for us. And let us always be aware of the Divine Mercy by praying: Jesus, have mercy on
us and on the whole world. And Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.
With peace and prayers in Christ,