"Sometimes we think we are doing God a favor when we do a work of mercy. But actually we find mercy and salvation for ourselves.”
That’s what Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley told the 2016 World Youth Day audience in Krakow, Poland, in July.
“Only by making a gift of ourselves will we find fulfillment, happiness and salvation," he said.
Isn’t this the very difference between serving God and mammon, the biblical name given to the greedy pursuit of gain?
In an interview for the opening of this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis described the duplicitous spirit of mammon that grips today’s world.
“We’re used to bad news, to cruelty and ever-greater atrocities that offend the name and the life of God. The world must discover that God is a father, that there’s mercy, that cruelty isn’t the way.
What the world needs, the Pope added, is a “revolution of tenderness.”
Perhaps this is what Jesus was telling us when he was nearly thrown off a cliff after his first preaching in a Nazareth synagogue. That threat did not stop him from talking about mercy throughout his ministry.
The Year of Mercy is a chance to reboot, to start over again, Cardinal O'Malley said. "We need to find a new route to take us where we need to go.”
Our prayer today: Lord Jesus, show us the way of mercy and grant us the courage and perseverance to follow it.