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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4-9
Matthew 18:21-35

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mercy, mercy

"Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?" —Matthew 18:33

Mercy means to treat others better than they deserve. The Lord is "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4) to the point that He gives us mercy every moment of our lives. Because of our sins, we don't deserve to live, for the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). Therefore, every moment of life is a gift of God's mercy. We certainly don't deserve to become a new creation (see Gal 6:15), share in God's nature (2 Pt 1:4), and have God live within us (see Jn 17:23; 1 Cor 6:19), but the Lord has been overwhelmingly merciful. We don't deserve to be forgiven, to pray, serve God, share the Gospel, receive Communion, rise from the dead, or go to heaven. However, the Lord has given us mercy. His mercy is great (Dn 3:42), rich (Eph 2:4), constant, unimaginable (1 Cor 2:9), everlasting (Ps 136).

As the major beneficiaries of God's mercy and as children of the God of mercy, we are to pass on the mercy we have received. The Lord insists on this (Mt 18:33). If we dam up the flow of God's mercy, we will experience God's judgment rather than His mercy (Mt 18:34-35). Consequently, "blest are they who show mercy" (Mt 5:7), for the Lord will not take away His mercy from them (Dn 3:35).

We pray: "Lord, have mercy." The Lord says: "You, have mercy."

Prayer:  "Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner" (the Jesus Prayer; cf Mk 10:47).

Promise:  "Deliver us by Your wonders, and bring glory to Your name, O Lord." —Dn 3:43

Praise:  When tempted to be harsh with another, Irma remembers how much God has forgiven her.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011

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