Monday, February 18, 2008

Have Mercy

Today's readings focus on mercy and forgiveness. The readings strike me as bookends to each other -- the first reading from Daniel (9:4b-10) asks God's mercy for humankind, while in the Gospel reading (Lk 6:36-38) Jesus instructs us to be merciful to each other.

Of course, Christian living focuses a great deal on forgiveness. The Bible shows us over and over again that God forgives us, creates new agreements (covenants) with us, and provides methods, such as the sacrament of reconciliation (confession), by which we may be reconciled to him when we make poor choices.

Jesus' parallel teaching -- not only in Luke today, but throughout the Gospel -- says that not only is God merciful, but we are to take that example of mercy and apply it amongst ourselves. Mercy and forgiveness are not the exclusive domain of our Father and Jesus leads us to that understanding. We must strive to be as merciful as God is merciful in our interactions with each other.

No comments: