Merciful and Loving God
Our first reading today introduces us to a God of justice. One who is ready to punish all those who disobey His commands. But this is not all that there is. The reading also shows us a loving and merciful God who is ready to forgive us of our sins even when we do not ask for forgiveness ourselves. This is exemplified when Moses spoke on behalf of the people, reminding God of the promises He had made. This means that His mercy endures forever from one generation to the next (Psalm 136).
The psalm is that of David when he pleaded to God for repentance from his sins. The psalmist calls forth to God for mercy, to cleanse him from sin. The psalmist also prays for a pure heart and a new spirit from God. This follows from the first reading which speaks of God’s merciful love.
The second reading also speaks about God’s mercy. Saint Paul in verse 13 says, ‘though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief’. Although he persecuted the people of God, Paul received mercy from the one who is full of mercy and love.
The gospel readings all speak about the mercy of God. This is evident in the parable of the lost coin where the coin owner goes in search of it, the lost sheep, where the shepherd leaves the 99 in search of 1, and also the parable of the prodigal son where the father welcomes back his prodigal son with a merciful heart. These parables as taught by Christ give us an idea of how merciful God is to us His children. One undeniable act of mercy is that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Finally, we are sons and daughters of God. This means that we must be like Him in all virtues including mercy. We must be merciful to our neighbour just as God is merciful to us. We must love one another and live in peace for it is only when we do this that we would store up treasures for ourselves in Heaven. May the good Lord bless our hearts and help us as we strive to be merciful through Christ our Lord. Amen