Courage Forgiveness Jesus Judgement Love Mercy Trust

Every Encounter with Jesus Changes Our Lives

By on April 7, 2020

Mercy is greater than prejudice.  Jesus is so very merciful.  The symbol of everything that us seemingly important, but loses all its value before the “love of God.”  We all have one, or more than one!  The one that weighs you down, that distances you from God?”

Jesus, seeing the crowds of people who followed him, realized that they were tired and exhausted, lost and and without a guide, and he felt deep compassion for them.  He healed the sick and with just a few loaves of bread and fish he satisfied the enormous crowd.  What moved Jesus was nothing other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered  and responded to their deepest need.

Jesus looks at Matthew and awakens something new within him.  Jesus makes him feel an interior wonder, and makes him hear the call of Jesus:   follow me.  It only took a moment to understand that look had changed his life forever.  Matthew says yes, leaves everything and goes with the Lord.

The Lord feasts with sinners  The encounter with Jesus and the mercy of God should be celebrated.  But life is not one big party.  There is a time for celebration, but then there must be daily work, fueled by the memory of that first encounter.

Jesus demonstrates God’s love, a new season now begins; she is reborn in love to a new life.

Mercy is a key word that indicates God’s action towards us.  He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible.  Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction.  By its very nature, it indicates something concrete; intentions. Attitudes, and behaviors that are shown in daily living.  The mercy of God is his loving concern for each one of us.  He feels responsible; that is, he desires our well-being and he wants to see us happy, full of joy, and peaceful.  As the Father loves, so do his children.  Just as he is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful  Can there be a Christian who isn’t merciful?  No.  A Christian must necessarily be merciful, because this is the center of the Gospel.

To listen to God’s Word is to read it and ask oneself:  “What does this say to my heart?”  Only in this way, does our life change.  Ask ourselves: ‘Is God speaking to me with this, is he saying something to me’?”  To listen with the ears and listen with the heart.

Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome ejection with compassion and mercy.  The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the father with two sons, God is always presented as full of joy, especially when he pardons.

The joy of God is forgiving.  The joy of a shepherd who finds his little lamb; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father welcoming home the son who was lost.  It is not sentiment.  Mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the “cancer” that is sin, moral evil, spiritual evil.  Only love fills the void, the negative, chasms that evil opens in hearts and in history.

Jesus  is all mercy, Jesus is all love; each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that was mislaid; each one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything.   But God does not forget us, the Father never abandons us.  He never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love.  And his heart rejoices over every child who returns.

What is the danger that we presume we are righteous and judge others.  We also judge God, because we think that he should punish sinners, condemn them.  If in our heart there is no mercy, no joy of forgiveness, we are not in communion with God, even if we observe all of his precepts, for it is love that saves.

The courage to trust in Jesus’ mercy, to trust in his patience, to seek refuge always in the wounds of his love.  God is indeed waiting for you; he asks of you only the courage to go to him.  “Don’t be afraid, go to him, he is waiting for you, he will take care of everything.”  We hear many offers from the world around us; but let us take up God’s offer instead:  his is a caress of love.  For God, we are not numbers, we are the most important thing to him; even if we are sinners, we are what is closest to his heart.

 

~ Pope Francis

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