Mercy: To Give and Receive

mercyAn Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is now in the history books and looking back I wonder if I have been changed at all by the observance. Certainly the focus on mercy wasn’t all about God’s mercy toward me? Yes, I focused on my sin and the need for God’s forgiveness and grace, but hopefully that changed how I live my life and how I offer mercy to others.

The mercy we receive from God is not something we are to keep bottled up or hidden from others. Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be treated and to love everyone, even our enemies. When Jesus healed the Canaanite woman I wonder what she did next. I would hope she in turn offered mercy and healing to others. Of course, I know she was imperfect just like me so I am sure in no time she was back to needing the mercy of Jesus. Her demon was gone, but there is always a new evil around every corner.

However, the fact that we are a broken people always in need of mercy does not lessen the command for us to offer mercy. Mercy is a gift like so many others that God lavishes on us with great generosity. We are called to cultivate this and share it with others as well. If we cannot do that then what was the real effect of God’s mercy in our lives? If we do not allow God to change us into more generous stewards ready to offer mercy and love to all, then perhaps we are fooling ourselves that we are true disciples of Jesus at all.