In his encyclical, Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), Saint Pope John Paul II writes,
by becoming for people a model of merciful love for others, Christ proclaims by His actions even more than by His words that call to mercy which is one of the essential elements to the Gospel ethos. In this instance, it is not just a case of satisfying a condition of major importance for God to reveal Himself in His mercy to man: “The merciful […] shall obtain mercy.” (II, The Messianic Message)
What is the pope saying?
He is saying what we all know we are called to do if we profess to name ourselves Christian; followers of Jesus Christ. We must, like our Master, be merciful through the action of forgiving those who hurt us. Ouch!
There is something more…
The pope says it is not just a matter of what we are called to do (satisfying a condition); it is the way for God to reveal Himself in His Mercy to man (i.e. you and me):
…“The merciful […] shall obtain mercy.”
Finding Healing through Mercy
I have found this to be true. There are people who I feel have let me down. Whether real or just in my imagination, I have felt slighted, unrecognized, dismissed. Through the grace of God, I have chosen in my hurt to offer a prayer: “Lord, ________ hurt me, yet through You, I will to forgive.”
This ‘willing’ to forgive does not deny the justice due to me; it just puts the gavel in the hands of God—our Savior and Just Judge. I have discovered in my surrender to his will, by being merciful to the ones who hurt me, I have received healing. Even more amazing, I have received the recognition, the acceptance I felt was denied me by others through the grace of a closer relationship with Jesus. God sees me! God knows! God cares!
God’s Mercy for Us Now
We have a great opportunity this week to enter Healing through God’s gift of Divine Mercy. Pope Francis has called this time we live in especially filled with God’s Mercy, saying,
“[L]isten to the voice of the Spirit that speaks to the whole Church in this our time, which is, in fact, the time of mercy. I am certain of this… It is the time of mercy in the whole Church… ]” (Pope Francis, address to the priests of the Diocese of Rome, 3/6/2014).
Next Sunday, April 28, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Our Lord Jesus said to St. Faustina about this Feast:
On that day [Divine Mercy Sunday], the very depths of My tender mercy are opened. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. […] On that day, all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. (Diary of St. Faustina, no. 699)
Finding God’s Mercy
To forgive may be Divine, but it is also very hard! Why not take advantage of this gift of “a whole ocean of graces” by participating in the Feast of Divine Mercy?! If you need assistance finding a parish that is offering Divine Mercy Sunday services, contact us at Pilgrim Center of Hope.
Jesus asked in the Gospel of John (1:38-39), “What are you looking for?” He responds to our request for healing and mercy, just as he responded to those in the Gospel, “Come! and you will see.”
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.