Sunday, May 13, 2018
Why does this world seem so filled with vengeance and aggression?
God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy! – Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful for they shall know mercy. Such a significant teaching tucked away in the Beatitudes, yet I fear too many Christians do not seriously and authentically take it to heart. To act mercifully toward others is part and parcel with experiencing mercy toward you.
It is a common thought that they will automatically receive God’s mercy, God’s compassionate and gracious forgiveness, an aspect of Love that restores and renews a relationship. And that is true … but yet not fully true. Some might think that being merciful to then receive mercy is a quid-pro-quo arrangement we have with God; each time I forgive, God then forgives me, or each time I am forgiven by God I must go and forgive someone else. But that is not really how it works. No, this Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall see mercy”, is more about entering into a Realm of Mercy, a realm where God’s compassion and God’s initiative of grace and God’s forgiveness are a way of life.
That old adage, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, might be translated “When in the Realm of Christ do as what Christ would do.” This merciful life goes counter to our sinful nature and in many ways our cultural norms; but then again, this merciful life draws forth into our existence that image of God placed within us in our Creation. To live a merciful life is a struggle at first. But with practice it eventually does become the quality of our spirit and the manner of our living. This merciful begins as an intentional act of will but slowly becomes that which comes quite naturally, as the mercy begets mercy.
The Lord has invited to dwell in the Merciful Realm, and though I was first reluctant, I have accepted His invitation. And here in this Realm, the Mercy is bountiful.
In His Service always,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz