Do you remember the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that ran from 8th December 2015 till 20th November 2016?
The reason that Pope Francis made this a special year of mercy was because he believed that we need to constantly contemplate the mystery of mercy. “It is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace…Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.”
I recall that year today as we look at the Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” What does it mean for us to be merciful? It means giving, helping and serving others, but it also includes forgiveness and understanding. We need to remember that the beatitudes are self portraits of Jesus.
How did Jesus live out Mercy? What does his life tell us about mercy? Jesus reflects the mercy of God towards sinners and we also see him moved with compassion for all those suffering and in need. He feeds the crowds that follow him to hear his teaching, he heals the sick that come to him for healing and he frees those oppressed by evil spirits. Jesus has a special love for sinners and this provoked fierce opposition from the defenders of the law, who accused him of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” Jesus said,”I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your sinfulness because then you will experience the whelming mercy and love of God for you.
A prayer that is on my lips every morning is “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.”