Mercy The Great Gift We Don’t Deserve, but Receive Anyway!
Pope Francis calls our attention to God’s Mercy almost every time he preaches to us. “Why is Mercy is so important to Pope Francis? Jesus spent much of his time helping us understand that God, His Father, hates sin very much, as sin separates us from the Father’s love, i.e., His warm hugs and His loving presence. For these reasons, Jesus preached against sin and asks us to repent for our sins--so that God’s Mercy can begin anew-- showering His love upon us.
However, Jesus preaching also points out that God, Our Father, prefers mercy instead of punishment for our sins. If we have trouble grasping this concept, we can read about King David in the Old Testament or the story of the Good Thief who was crucified with Jesus on that first Good Friday. They both received an abundance of God’s mercy.
By taking time to dwell on mercy in our own lives during this special year, we will realize this outstanding truth. While God hates sin, God loves us more and He’d rather have us back in His arms than placed on a desert island far from His love and embrace.
Peter is a good example of Jesus not wanting to render punishment. As we know, when Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus forgave him and simply asked him--"Do you love me?” And three times Peter said, "Yes, I love you.”
Jesus then added, “Feed My Sheep.” Jesus never said “Don’t ever deny me again, Peter!” He just took Peter at his word and Peter received His mercy. God, through Jesus, treated Peter mercifully and gave him the title of apostle.
Mercy is the gift we don’t deserve, but it comes to us easily from a loving God. No matter what we have done or failed to do, Jesus works persistently to reconcile us with His Father and will never rest until everyone is home in heaven--the faithful flock and the lost.
Jesus even now will not rest until this goal is met --and He is relentless in His pursuit of every lost person. To all--- Jesus brings the gift of grace---which we never merited--- and the generous gift of mercy---which we never deserve. Each is a stunning gift from a God who loves to surprise us!
No wonder Pope Francis wants us to celebrate a year of mercy--where each day is a miracle of God’s love-and for this reason alone- even a year is not long enough!