Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Scandal of Mercy

“You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?”

Jesus is telling the parable of the unmerciful servant in response to Peter's question on how many times should he forgive. Jesus answer... never stop forgiving.

I don't think I've ever been severely wronged to the point where I've held resentment. But this goes beyond mere resentment. Jesus is demanding that I be always merciful, that I always have an attitude of mercy.  That covers everything from the little niggles of family life, the careless driver cutting me off when I'm cycling to work, the work colleagues not pulling their weight... everything.

Mercy is surprisingly controversial in the Church. I hear many people retreat angrily to the law when mercy is being proposed. I think there is a misunderstanding of mercy and people fear it will be demanded as a right. That's not mercy. That's a free ticket to do what you want. Mercy doesn't say a wrong is suddenly right. Wrong is still wrong, a debt is still a debt. Mercy aligns me with the debtor saying I too have owed much and have been forgiven much. You and I are brothers in that regard. Somehow, in this process we are both lifted up from the dung heap we deserve.

Lord Jesus, I have been forgiven much. Help me be an agent of mercy today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

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