We are God’s creation and often come to realize that we are not in control but totally dependent on God. In moments of turmoil, trouble, misery, suffering, need, and/or helplessness we seek God. Not because we deserve it, but because God loves each and every one of us God and sees our reliance on Him, God rescues us from difficulty; out of his mercy he saves us because we are powerless; out of his mercy, he heals us of our sin or disease. What is most precious about God’s mercy is that His rescuing power is behind His mercy.
Scripture gives us some beautiful description of our heavenly Father…our God… “the Father of mercies” and a “God of mercy” (2 Cor. 1:3, Neh. 9:17). His mercy is also abundantly great and boundless, higher than the heavens and filling the earth. Scripture refers to “the multitude of his mercies” (Lam. 3:32) “Rich in Mercy” (Ephesians 2:4 “and in our moments of grief he is the God of all consolation” (2 Corinthians 1:3).
God’s mercy is eternal, is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 103:17) in the same way that God himself is from everlasting to everlasting. Like we sing in that beautiful hymn “Great is thy Faithfulness”, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3): constantly fresh and perfect and never fading with age. His mercy endures forever.
Let us reflect on God’s mercy for his people. One of the earliest examples He brought the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. They were helpless to save themselves, but God saw their desperate situation and redeemed them out of their trouble.
God’s supreme act of mercy for mankind is the incarnation. It was because of God’s tender mercy that Christ became man to be our Savior (Luke 1: 78). It was on the basis of God’s mercy that he saved us from our state of helpless. The ultimate sacrifice of Christ, and all the saving actions of God on our behalf, come because God is “rich in mercy”.
When we celebrate Easter we must remember that it by our Father’s great mercy that he gave us new birth in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The new life within which we are born again comes to us by way of God’s mercy.
Just as our Father is moved to act in mercy to us in need, we too are called to be merciful. The poverty of others–both material and spiritual–is our opportunity to be like our Father. We are called to spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
In the Catholic Church, we are able to continually experience God’s mercy in the sacraments. Let us reflect on this….
Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is our own personal reception of God’s mercy, poured into us through Christ’s death and resurrection. –
God gives us a clean slate…..
Marriage is the only sacrament that laypeople confer on one another. The unconditional love that underlies the sacrament in which within that covenantal relationship we die to ourselves every day for our spouse.
We need forgiveness in all areas of our lives, and especially in our marriages, where hurt, anger, and resentment can quietly build. When we harbor anger and resentment in our marriages, we break the intimate relationship between husband and wife and prevent ourselves from experiencing the freedom that comes from grace and a merciful heart.
Anointing of the Sick
Jesus is the Lord that healeth thee. This sacrament expresses God’s merciful presence to the sick and elderly. It gives strength, peace, and courage to those who are being tried by illness or advanced in age.
In this sacrament Jesus has the power not only to heal but also to forgive; He has come to heal the whole man, soul, and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: “I was sick and you visited me.”
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Luke tells us in the Parable of the Prodigal Son: “ while he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son”. But his father ordered his servants, “Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. Let us celebrate with a feast…
When we confess our offenses, God faithfully forgives and unlike us He forgets. Our genuine repentance is always met with God’s willing and abundant mercy.
The mass and the sacrament of the Eucharist are one of our greatest reminders of God’s mercy toward us….
The Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of Himself revealing God’s infinite love for each and every one of us. The Eucharist is God’s sacrificial gift of mercy made present in every Mass.
St. Faustina, the Saint of the Divine Mercy, reminds us that the Eucharist is a fountain of grace and mercy and The Church teaches us that all the other sacraments are directed towards the Eucharist and draw their power from it.
The Mass commemorates and makes present again the one who once gave himself in mercy to relieve our suffering and who continues to give himself to us, holding nothing back, in the sacrament of sacraments, the sacrament of divine mercy.
Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist so that we may become what we eat and that we may grow in holiness.
As Catholics, we are basking in God’s mercy and because of this, we need to remember that we are called to be merciful as the Father is merciful…..
Prayer: Almighty and merciful God, we thank you for your loving mercy, for always forgiving us even if we have sinned and displeased you, for your healing, your provision. May we deserve your pardon, strength, mercy, and love so we can truly live in you.
Let us never forget – The Lord is always there for us in good times or in bad times, for his mercy is without end.