mer·cy ˈmərsē/ noun noun: mercy; plural noun: mercies1.compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. “the boy was screaming and begging for mercy”
synonyms: leniency, clemency, compassion, grace, pity, charity, forgiveness, forbearance, quarter, humanity…
Mercy. It is not a new word, but we seem to hear more of it lately. I feel as if I do, anyway.
Mercy matters. Mercy is at the heart of Christ. God if rich in mercy – go read the definition next to the photo again. There is so much evidence for God’s mercy in the Scriptures, and in tradition. Sometimes however, we have all shown a lack of it, and I’m guessing most of us can think of numerous times when we have not received it.
We see many examples of mercy in Pope Francis, a man who has continued to surprise and delight, a man who done more to change the perception of the Church, just by his manner of being. The pope has not changed one iota of doctrine, but he has offered us a new way of seeing and thinking about God, and about the Roman Catholic church.
The Church of Mercy, A Vision for the Church, by Pope Francis, just published by Loyola Press, has occupied what little spare time I over the weekend. Tomorrow I will offer a review of the book and a chance for someone to win a copy.
But for today, I have an idea for all of us, here in this season of Easter… Can we fine ways to be merciful to others today, in the name of Christ?
Don’t go to church? So what, anyone can choose to be merciful. Go to church all the time? That does not automatically mean that one is merciful either. If you are not sure what to say or do, let your heart to the talking and walking. If you can be a channel of kindness in someone’s life, a channel of comfort, and of joy, in someone’s life, that is choosing mercy.
Think about how you can be mercy and merciful in the world – and then set out to do it. Or maybe we can simply consider what mercy means to us, and why it matters.
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, when the review is posted! But for today, live mercy, because mercy matters. Make the world more merciful today, each of us a tiny candle that will illuminate the world with the love of Christ.
(Want to buy the book right now? Loyola Press is offering a special. If you buy 2 paperback copies of the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, between now and April 25, you can email a copy of your receipt to Loyola Press, and receive a third copy for free. See this link for details.)