Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Mercy – Is it Only for Christ to Give?

divine mercy 3Mercy – How elusive is this virtue from one’s grasp? Is it something only Christ can give, or can we give mercy to others? Are we expected to give mercy?

Mercy is as elusive as you want it to be – it’s that simple! Christ is at the ready, waiting to bestow His Mercy upon you. All you need to do is acknowledge that you need His Mercy, and that means acknowledging your sinfulness. For some, that is difficult to do; for others it is easy. Therein lays the answer to the elusiveness of Christ’s Mercy. The choice is yours.

Mercy is defined as a preference to provide a softer attitude toward a repentant sinner rather than the deserved punishment. Mercy was Jesus’ calling card throughout His ministry. He was ever merciful towards repentant sinners, and especially to those who crucified Him on the cross, asking the Father to “forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). On a human level, one might think that the most appropriate punishment for taking the life of Christ is a life for a life. Yet, Jesus thought differently. Jesus’ Divine Mercy “does not override justice, but rather transcends it and converts the sinner into a just person by bringing about repentance and openness to the Holy Spirit.” 1

Everything that Jesus did, during His ministry, became teaching moments. With those teaching moments, He is calling each of us to imitate Him in how we treat others. “Whatever you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). Therefore, we are called to give mercy to others. We are expected to do so. The mercy that we extend to others is a manifestation of Christ’s Divine Mercy, where we are able to express our love for God and neighbor.

In our next reflection, we’ll discuss why we should all be merciful to others. We’ll answer the “What’s in it for me” question. Don’t miss it!

Footnote:

1 Catholic Encyclopedia, Revised Ed., Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas Ed., p. 666. Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1998, Print.

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