Posts Tagged ‘mercy and love’


It seems the hardest words to be uttered and said to one who has hurt us deeply is, “I forgive you.” And yet these are the very words we want to hear each and every time we have deeply hurt the Lord our God by our sins against Him and one another. In the most precious prayer Jesus taught us, the heart of God our Father’s mercy and love upon us is outpoured when we in turn are merciful and loving to others especially those who have sinned against us.

Why is this so? Why is forgiviness of others a condition or prerequisite? Well we know that the Lord our God is most Holy, all loving and merciful. The nature of God is love and His mercy springs forth from His love. How then can we expect to be in full union with Him if we refuse to be merciful, how then can we fully love ourselves let alone others?

Unforgiveness leads to hardening of our hearts such that we cannot fully love. It is an open door for sin to enter! Throughout salvation history, God our loving Father has sent mighthy prophets to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children; to restore His people. To turn hearts of stone back into flesh!Jesus lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us love one another as You have loved us and teach us to be merciful to one another as You have been merciful unto us. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 48:1-15
The spirit of Elijah fills ElishaThe prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people, and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens, he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah!
Has anyone reason to boast as you have? – rousing a corpse from death, from Sheol by the word of the Most High;
dragging kings down to destruction, and high dignitaries from their beds;
hearing reproof on Sinai, and decrees of punishment on Horeb; anointing kings as avengers, and prophets to succeed you;
taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob, Happy shall they be who see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love; for we too will have life.Elijah was shrouded in the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit; throughout his life no ruler could shake him, and no one could subdue him.
No task was too hard for him, and even in death his body prophesied.
In his lifetime he performed wonders, and in death his works were marvellous.

Gospel

Matthew 6:7-15
How to prayJesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’


Eternal Father whose mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us.Only one who has the heart of God could compose such a beautiful prayer which reveals the great depth of His mercy and love for us. For there is no sin too great that our loving Heavenly Father will not forgive when we turn our contrite hearts back to Him.The same extraordinary unconditional love and mercy extended to us is what is expected of us in our relationships with all others. For this is how we unite ourselves more fully in communion with the Lord our God and with one another. To become Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 21:17-29
The punishment of Ahab and Jezebel foretoldAfter the death of Naboth, the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him, “The Lord says this: You have committed murder; now you usurp as well. For this – and the Lord says this – in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.”’
Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me out, O my enemy!’ Elijah answered, ‘I have found you out. For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster down on you; I will sweep away your descendants, and wipe out every male belonging to the family of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel. I will treat your House as I treated the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin. (Against Jezebel the Lord spoke these words: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.) Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’
And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites used to do whom the Lord had dispossessed for the sons of Israel.
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; I will bring the disaster down on his House in the days of his son.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:43-48
Pray for those who persecute youJesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’


Stop nagging, stop complaining, stop finding fault, stop being self righteous! Simply choose to love and be merciful. Be life giving like our risen Lord and saviour Jesus Christ instead of ‘life taking’ as Saul before His conversion experience in the presence of Jesus. For our Lord did say to us, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” And it is for that very reason he asked Saul why was he persecuting Him? So then shall we go on persecuting our family members, friends, colleagues even strangers? Or do we offer instead, mercy and love in our Lord Jesus Christ?In this trying times, we need to connect more fully with Jesus through His Word and deeper prayer; as we wait the Blessed hope of receiving Him again most fully in Holy Eucharist. Nonetheless the full extent of His grace will be conferred upon us when we cry out to Him our heart’s desires to be in full communion with Him.Jesus my Lord, let me be an instrument of Your grace and love. Amen

First reading

Acts 9:1-20 ·
This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the pagansSaul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.
Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked, and the voice answered, ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.’ The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.
A disciple called Ananias who lived in Damascus had a vision in which he heard the Lord say to him, ‘Ananias!’ When he replied, ‘Here I am, Lord’, the Lord said, ‘You must go to Straight Street and ask the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying, having had a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.’
When he heard that, Ananias said, ‘Lord, several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.’ The Lord replied, ‘You must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and at once laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. So he was baptised there and then, and after taking some food he regained his strength.
He began preaching in the synagogues, ‘Jesus is the Son of God.’

Gospel

John 6:52-59
My flesh is real food and my blood is real drinkThe Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.