“The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 100:5) How well this verse summarizes the message from this day’s readings! The Lord is good! Whenever He wants to let us know what kind of a God He is, He would reveal Himself as thus, “The Lord, kind and merciful, slow to anger, rich in compassion.” This is the God talking to Moses in the first reading. “You shall be my special possession; I will hold you in the palm of my hand.”

St Paul is conveying the same message to the Romans: if we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more will we be saved by his life. He cares so much. He gave his only Son that those who believe may not perish but have eternal life.

Isn’t this what Jesus is telling us today in the way He talks about the crowd gathered to listen to Him? His heart is moved with pity, with compassion, because they were troubled and abandoned like sheep without a shepherd. God the Father and Jesus are mercy itself, and to be truly sons and daughters of such a Father, brothers and sisters to Jesus, it is absolutely necessary to imitate them in showing mercy, as they do to us and to all.

Have you really ever thought about the meaning of the word? It is defined as, “the disposition to be kind and forgiving. Founded on compassion, mercy differs from compassion or the feeling of sympathy in putting this feeling into practice  with a readiness to assist. It is therefore the ready willingness to help anyone in need, especially in need of pardon or reconciliation.” (Modern Catholic Dictionary)

We now must reflect on what it means to show mercy and if necessary, start anew, because maybe most of us have been trying hard but even our best has not been good enough. Jesus rebuked the chief Priests and the Scribes and Pharisees because of their lack of mercy. He is appointing his Apostles to be the new shepherds of the new Israel, the Church. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we must be able to open our hearts and show mercy whenever and wherever mercy is needed. Remember and keep in mind what was said in the word’s definition, “to be ready and willing to give a helping hand, to assist, to pardon, to accept reconciliation from someone or offer reconciliation, to forgive anyone anything, because we are no longer under the law but under grace. “In the measure we have received, we are to give.”

Are we ready to start a truly new life in Christ? Then we must let the past be past. Let us start a really new life with our Master in showing mercy as He did, as He is expecting it from each one of his true and faithful followers, as apostles and disciples of the Son of God who so loved us that He gave Himself up for our sins, our transgressions, our lack of mercy and compassion so that we would be reconciled to our God and Father.

“Give and it will be given you. Forgive and you will be forgiven. And remember, the measure you use for others will in turn be used for you.”

Fr. Danis Ridore