Eyes of Mercy: Weekly Message for 04-03-2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

Fresh from the joy of resurrection of Our Lord, the Church sets its sights on Divine Mercy Sunday.

This is fitting, since an underlying theme of Jesus’ appearances on Easter is precisely mercy.

He shows a kind of mercy to the apostles on Easter evening by not berating them for abandoning him in the Garden of Gethsemane or denying him after his arrest. Rather, he breathes the gift of the Holy Spirit on them and gives them the power to forgive sins (John 20:22-23).

Nor does he browbeat the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their incredulity about the reports of his resurrection. Rather, he gives them a mini-course on interpreting the Scriptures that would be the envy of any lover of the word of God.

Why these displays of mercy? One explanation: They show the continuity in God’s plans.

For Jesus came into the world to reveal God’s mercy and to suffer and die for our redemption, out of mercy. And Jesus’ mercy didn’t die on Calvary. It spilled over into Easter and beyond.

Yet, this mercy isn’t meant to be a one-way street. Jesus calls us to be merciful too. Which is why he urges us to pray daily that we forgive those who trespass against us.

Mercy gives us the eyes of Christ. We see the weakness in others but immediately recognize that they can do better, with a bit of encouragement and patience.

In the weakness and falls of others, we see ourselves in the mirror and recall what Our Lord has done for us.

So if we want to celebrate Easter in the full sense, we can do it by our acts of mercy. For extra inspiration we might turn to the retreat guide The Dawn of Mercy.

Keep the sun of mercy blazing!

With my prayers,
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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