Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, June 16
May the Spirit of God’s Truth Change and Transform Each of Us into the Humble and Repentant Child that God Desires Us to Be, So that We May Always Be Able to Walk in the Joy and Freedom of His Love.
“Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.” – the antiphon which is repeated in today’s Responsorial Psalm, a prayer invoking God’s forgiveness, His Mercy due to the weakness of our human nature.
I remember many years ago, on April 30th, in the year 2000, our late Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II, proclaimed that the Second Sunday after Easter would be known as “Divine Mercy Sunday”, in answer to our Lord’s request made through Saint Faustina. John Paul placed great belief in the words of our Lord, for nothing was given to us in this devotion that was new.
Our Holy Father saw tremendous importance in the message of mercy which mankind so sorely needed, for much of society had traveled so far away from God’s Love; much of society had plunged itself into such deep darkness that only The Divine Mercy of a Most Loving God could find and save them.
And John Paul quoted from Saint Faustina’s “Diary” when he read, “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to God’s Mercy.”
What we received from this private devotion was a reawakening, a re-awareness of the Great Mercy which God has for all of His children, a mercy which we read about even in the First Book of Kings, when God recognized the humility and repentance which Ahab was living within his heart; and because of this, God relented in visiting His punishment on Ahab himself.
Even with the great evil which Ahab had perpetrated against Naboth, God still forgave Ahab, for He read the sorrow which truly existed within Ahab. We find in this example which God gives to us in our First Reading – and in the example which our faith teaches us regarding Jesus’ Mercy from the Cross when He forgave those who persecuted Him – that the act of forgiveness and mercy is a godly virtue.
It is a virtue which our Lord asks of each one of us, when He says to both you and me in our Gospel Reading today, “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.”
Our Catechism teaches us that “The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners.” And Saint Augustine tells us that, “God created us without us: but He did not will to save us without us.” In other words, in order to receive God’s Mercy, we must be humble enough to admit our faults, to admit that we are sinners and in need of His forgiveness.
And this is what we find in the person of Ahab in today’s Reading. And this is what we should also find within ourselves in the faith we are called to live each day.
Along this same line of thinking, Saint John tells us in his First Letter, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Unfortunately, however, over the past few decades, man has lost the very concept of sin itself, for man begins to rationalize everything into an acceptable action! We can see this unfortunate and yet sad fact in the ever dwindling number of people who seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
When I was a young child, every Saturday afternoon was known for its long confessional lines, for people recognized within themselves their own imperfections and sinfulness. Today, this way of thinking seems foreign in the minds of many. The question then begs to be asked, “Why? Why do people today seem to be more inclined to justify their thoughts, words and deeds as harmless, when, in all reality, the opposite is true?”
The answer lies in the fact that peoples’ relationship with God has grown dry and is lacking in intimacy. And, as a result, God’s children no longer recognize the existence of sin in their lives as they used to. And yet, God’s Truth never changes, and it is Scripture which teaches us – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.”
It is no wonder that our Lord wanted to re-awaken our minds, our hearts and our souls to His Divine Mercy – and our desperate need for it!
God knows our weaknesses and our sinfulness better than we do, and He assures us of His Love and the grace necessary for each of us to be able to follow in His ways. As a result, He encourages us in today’s Gospel, “…be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
In responding to our Lord’s words, it does require, on our part, an openness to His Truth and a deepening humility within ourselves – to accept the fact that we are all sinners and in need of His merciful help, just as Ahab came to this awareness in his own heart.
The Feast of Divine Mercy for each of us emerged from the very depths of God’s Heart. And every soul which opens itself to His Love and believes and trusts in His Mercy shall obtain it!
May the Spirit of God’s Truth change and transform each one of us into the humble and repentant child that God desires us to be, so that we may always be able to walk in the joy and freedom of His Love –
– both in this life and in the next. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love.” (Psalm 51:3a)
- “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 evil in his time.’” (1 Kings 21:28-29b)
- “So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4:7, 10)
- “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he shows sinners the way, He guides the humble to righteousness, he teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9)
- “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:44-45a)
- “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
- “Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven…Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself, yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?” (Sirach 28:2, 4)
- “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
- “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)
- “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.” (Hebrews 13:8-9a)
- “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Prayer for the Day
“O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness,
today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery
to Your mercy – to Your compassion, O God;
and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out.
do not reject the prayer of this Earth’s exiles!
O Lord, Goodness beyond our understanding,
Who are acquainted with our misery through and through,
and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to You.
“We implore You: anticipate us with Your grace
and keep on increasing Your mercy in us,
that we may faithfully do Your holy will
all through our life and at death’s hour.
“Let the omnipotence of Your mercy
shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies,
that we may, with confidence, as Your children,
await Your final coming – that day known to You alone.
And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus
in spite of all our wretchedness.
“For Jesus is our Hope:Prayer for Divine Mercy (Saint Faustina, Diary, 1570)
Through His Merciful Heart, as through an open gate,
we pass through to Heaven.”