BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL,
FOR THEY WILL RECEIVE MERCY
(a reflection by Willy Effinger)
Jesus Christ is Mercy Incarnate, the Son of the living God who offered Himself as a living libation on the Cross. To believe in Christ is to believe in the redeeming power of His Crucifixion, to believe in the Father’s merciful love and to believe that brotherly love can and will exist in this fallen world. The antidote against the evil in this world is real love, the love of Jesus Christ (“unless you lay down your life for one another …”).
Jesus loves us despite our shortcomings and shows us the way of merciful love. Even though hearts are tempted and human minds are besieged by evil, MERCY will triumph, especially if we make it a way of life. One thing that I have learned over the past fifteen years on my own conversion journey is that the more mercy we give, the more we will have to spend. God, in His great mercy, replenishes us as we pour ourselves out. He is literally filling the chalice of our hearts until it overflows. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we have abundant proof of God’s limitless mercy. In the New Testament, however, mercy takes on a new, enhanced form in the Person of Jesus Christ. Mercy then, through Jesus Christ, is catapulted in the realm of divinity. As children of the living God, we are thereby placed in the position, are given the duty, to become sharers, users and givers in this Divine Work of the Almighty.
For every human need and shortcoming, there is a special medicine, a special way of applying mercy. The Holy Mother Church, in order that we might have some guidelines, has given us the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Clearly, the instructions for a merciful love are given in the excerpt above, an expectation which the children of God must fulfill in order to become holy. In other places of Holy Scripture, we read that we must love our enemies; we read that we must forgive seven times seventy times. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask the Father to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. These are all instructions for a sanctified life with the aim that we will be judged leniently on Judgement Day. So, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer, perhaps daily for most of us, we are indeed judging ourselves, for we are asking our Heavenly Father to do no differently to us than we do to others. As the saying goes: “Be careful what you pray for”! God will not give us a different judgement than the one for which we ask and “whoever acts without mercy will be judged without mercy.” (James 2:13)
Let us, then focus on God’s Divine Mercy and trust that He who gave Saint Faustina the message of Divine Mercy for the whole world will show mercy to us on Judgement Day. Let us listen to the words Jesus speaks to us through Saint Faustina:
“Tell all people, My daughter, that I am love and mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (Diary entry #1074)