Blessed are the Merciful

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Now that the Easter season is over, we return to Ordinary time.  Today we read Matthew’s recitation of the Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.

Of particular importance among the promises that Jesus makes is that those who are merciful will be shown mercy.  Who is it that will show us mercy?  Is it the ones to whom we are merciful?  Perhaps, but I think that Jesus is teaching us about God’s mercy, during our life and after it.

What is mercy?  Mercy is deciding not to impose the punishment that another’s actions deserve.  It is a difficult task for us to be merciful since being merciful is not just, and justice is giving exactly what is deserved.  Why then should we be merciful?  Because solely imposing justice leaves little room for forgiveness and redemption.  We are all sinners, and thus are not worthy of of eternal life.  But our God is merciful, and desires that we be his friends.  As a result, he gave us his Son so that through him we all can be made worthy of salvation.

Be merciful to each other, imitating your Heavenly Father!

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One Response to Blessed are the Merciful

  1. Nancy Novicki says:

    MERCI!

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