“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy”. – Mt. 5:7
The Holy Father Pope Francis had declared the year 2016 as the ‘Year of Mercy’. What was the Year of Mercy? The Year of Mercy was an invitation – an invitation to love, kindness and unbounded generosity. Pope Francis was offering us the opportunity to encounter the incredible mercy of God. Encountering mercy means encountering God, it can transform our lives, our relationships, our work and our ability to embrace all of life.
To paraphrase this Beatitude, we might say, “ They which have obtained mercy from God are so happy that they are merciful towards others”. If we have no mercy towards others, that is one proof that we have never experienced God’s mercy. But our God from the very beginning of time has always been merciful to mankind; starting from Genesis when He was merciful to Adam and Eve in spite of their disobedience, right through the Bible you will see God’s mercy at work.
Look at the world around us, we are living in a merciless world were egoism, prejudices, pride, avarice and selfishness are rampant, were ‘love thy neighbor’ is replaced by ‘love thy self’. The world today has a few Good Samaritans – Are you one? Our attitude towards our fellow men is a more accurate gauge of our religion than all our religious ranting.
Jesus summed up the whole matter of genuine Christianity when He said: “ If anyone thirst. Let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’. “ John 7: 37-38. Christianity is, first, a coming to Christ – an inflowing of the Living Water; second, it is a reaching towards others – an out flowing. It is to be shared in love, mercy and compassion to others. If we think of Christianity as our experience, our joy, our faith with no desire to share mercifully with others – we can only boast of stagnation. Not living, vital flowing Christianity.
In this Beatitude, which we could term as the ‘out flowing’ Beatitude. Jesus is emphasizing the fact that we are to be unstoppable channels through which His love and mercy flow out to the people. If the Christianity which we are living by fails to condition our attitudes towards our fellowmen we become spiritual introverts, then we do not know Christ who spoke this Beatitude.
Satan does not care how much you profess to know Christ but he opposes vigorously in the way you live Christ – the way you become an instrument of mercy, compassion and love through which He manifests Himself to the world. If Satan can take the mercy out of Christianity, he has killed its effectiveness.
The Gospel of Christ can come into full blossom only when the seed of the Spirit is buried in the rich soil of human mercy. Jesus said it is first an intaking then outgiving, in our outgiving we would find true happiness.
What are some of the areas in today’s world which we can show mercy? First – Caring for the needs of others, second – by doing away with our prejudices and third – by sharing the Gospel of Christ with others. If we sincerely make an affect to do this and let the Holy Spirit to rule our lives and God’s will to be done; we will be channels of God’s mercy flowing into this merciless world where people are longing for love , mercy and compassion – we will be giving Jesus to the world. When we meet our Savior at the end of lives here on earth – He should say to us: “ Well done good and faithful servant, Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world “. Mt. 25:34.
Mercy is compassion plus action. “ Happy are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy”.