If after almost a year of reading, discussing, meditating and praying about mercy we are still unconvinced, Pope Francis has laid it out in blunt terms, and his message bears repeating: “If God has forgiven me, why shouldn’t I forgive others? Am I greater than God?”
The Pope goes on to underscore the fact that “judging and condemning one’s brother who sins is wrong.” Because, he explains, “to condemn the sinner breaks the bond of fraternity with him and ignores the mercy of God, who does not want to give up on any of his children.”
During a General Audience in last month, Francis focused on a reading from Luke (6:36-38), where Jesus instructs his disciples to stop judging others and be merciful, as God is.
The motto for the Year of Mercy, “Merciful Like the Father,” comes from this admonition.
Also, by showing mercy to others, God will return that measure of mercy after our death. “It is we ourselves who decide how we will be judged,” the Pope said.
Our prayer for today: Father, we pray that we may grow to be a reflection of you, full of love, compassion and mercy.
(Image: Russian icon, “Lord of Sabbath,” 19th century)