Homily - The Goodness of Mercy
The scene was set in our opening prayer –we prayed that we may “feel the working of God’s mercy”. Pope Francis is fond of saying – “God’s love is MERCY”
In the Old Testament passage, we heard “Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you and when you pray your sins will be forgiven”.
You may think “Oh yes, that is good in theory but the challenge is whether that happens in my life in practice”.
In response to that first reading we prayed “The Lord is kind and merciful: slow to anger, and rich in compassion”.
St. Paul reminds us in the 2nd reading “the life and death of each of us has its influence on others”. Especially for ‘seniors’ (like myself) it can be very prayerful and personal to trace the influence we have had on others in life. Those who are grandparents might like to savour their love for their extended family – and own the influence it has had on the family.
Sometimes however, we may find it hard to have a forgiving heart to those who are closest to us – I mean those in the immediate family. There our grievances can fester. So, if we detect that we are finding it hard to forgive someone because of a hurt we received we can bring that struggle to the Lord in this Mass. The capacity to forgive does not come easily.
However, the Gospel today invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of divine forgiveness. There we can seek to find the grace to live truly forgiving lives ourselves. Then we can come to enjoy the FREEDOM of the sons and daughters of God. We celebrate that in this and every Mass.