Grace to you!
A reflection on mercy is never overdone during Lent. Lent is a unique time of mercy.
Last week, I shared an incredible story of a woman who showed mercy to someone who killed her son. Her story is a rare human example of mercy. During today’s reflection, I will reflect on an example of divine mercy in Scripture.
It is the popular stories of divine forgiveness, what I may call the three parables of Divine Mercy, recorded in the Gospel of Luke 15. The first two parables are the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. I won’t be explaining them. You may read them from Luke 15:1-10 at your convenience.
Let me focus on the last—the popular story of the prodigal son. To read the entire 21 verses would take us about 3 minutes and wouldn’t work here. I recommend you read it when you have time and discover how God, represented in the image of the wealthy father, showed unbelievable mercy and reconciliation to a prodigal son. Beautiful text.
Nonetheless, as a way to enrich our thought today and during the course of this Lenten season, a season of grace, mercy and reconciliation, observe that the mercy of God was relentlessly waiting, available for the prodigal son for the journey home. “I am sorry. I have made some wrong choices” is the right step of the journey.
Often people forget this aspect of mercy. Mercy is when a person humbles himself and opens his or her hands so God can lift them up. Mercy is when individual honesty and truth about our weaknesses is welcomed by God’s reassurance, “I am here to lift you up, to forgive and heal you.” Mercy is when the recognition of our weaknesses is met by the recognition of our place in God—the meeting between the sinner and the Holy—a meeting which takes place when a sinner brings his or her sins and says to the Holy “I am not worthy.” Good news, I suppose, to all of us who are sinners, isn’t it?
One more very crucial thing before the wrap: Mercy is very real and powerful at the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Tribunal of Mercy, as God called it in addressing St. Faustina. You may not have been Catholic or you may not have believed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession, where we tell the representative of Jesus in the Church our sins for healing and forgiveness, but I tell you Divine Mercy is powerfully real there. Believe this biblical and Godly truth as you can see from John 20:19-23.
If God has provided a real place of His Mercy on earth, wouldn’t you make use of it? I would. Lent is more fitted for it. Go for it!
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday, Lent Week 2: Mi. 7:14-15,18-20; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.