"For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy to all them that call on you." (Psalm 86:5)The proclamation of God's mercy does not reduce the reality of sin and disobedience to God. Mercy does not entitle us to live by our own esteem and do as we wish. To be mindful of God's mercy is to be aware of the reality of our imperfections and our failings. God's mercy towards us illuminates the unconditional love of God for us, despite us. In the understanding of our unworthiness and shortcomings we are met with the radical love and all encompassing embrace of our Father. It is because of the grace of God's mercy that we know to ask for it.Those who have an experience and deep encounter with God who strive to live in a state of obedient grace are perhaps more attuned to recognizing God's mercy and love in their lives. It is this reality that can keep them from straying on the path toward sanctity and the eternal end for which we as Christians should strive for.To forget God's mercy is to dismiss the fundamental aspect of our faith; Love. This love is not about sentimental fluffiness, but a love that nurtures and demands us to reconcile ourselves to the 'image and likeness of God' in which we are created. To the world it shines and proposes a difficult love.To be children of the Heavenly Father, as scripture reminds us, is to remember that ..."He makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:43-48-). This is important for us to reflect upon so we can be certain that no one is outside of the mercy of God, it is only one's ignorance to Him and the gift of generous grace that can leave them at a distance from being receptive to this mercy. It is thus through the witness of one touched by mercy and with eyes open to grace that many can be led back toward the foundational Love at their beginning, in order to arrive most fully at the end seeking reconciliation with God.An authentic experience of God's mercy will lead us to proclaim the love of God in the very way that we live our lives with others. So often we can observe those who claim to be obedient followers of Christ condemning their bothers and sisters. Many rush to take a seat on the throne of judgement, but have no regard for the proclamation of God's mercy. It is as if to determine that people are in fact beyond the mercy of God, and that is not so. To adopt the idea that another's imperfections and sinful inclinations automatically dooms them to hell is to also condemn oneself and render the working out of salvation, through ongoing conversion, by God's grace filled mercy, not a reality of our faith. Where there is still life on earth, there is time to work out life for eternity, those with the grace to know this must make haste to see this through. "Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful"(Luke 6:36).
The mercy of God is a light of hope that Christ shines in front of us so that we look back with holy trembling at our sins and with a holy fear at our present state. This holy fear is infused by love and not condemnation. It is a gentle embrace that surrounds us as we shed what has become hardened by the world and sin in order to renew ourselves in faith, in trust, and in obedient surrender to God.The further we as a society have grown from the Lord, the more radically we must proclaim the mercy of God. To preach justice without mercy, to condemn without first seeking to rid of ignorance is to foster sin and not sanctity."Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need(Hebrews 4:16).
Nothing is beyond the grace of our Lord, and nothing within our human power can attain an understanding of it's depths. Let us pray, not for the gift of understanding God's mercy, but for the grace to continually seek the mercy of God in our lives. (CC)