February 18, 2007

Lessons in Mercy

This Sunday's readings focus on mercy - what it is, how we're called to be merciful, and why.

The reading from the Old Testament (1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23) tells of David's mercy when given the opportunity to strike at his enemy. He could have killed Saul, but he chose to deliver a message without murder.

Its important to note the parallel with the chosen psalm:

The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your
life from destruction,

crowns you with
kindness and compassion.

...
Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.

Why would David choose mercy? Of course - because he tried to be more like God, and God is merciful.

Despite our sins and our crimes, He forgives. Despite all our sins and crimes, He forgives. He doesn't just forgive, He forgives like a father should - He puts those past failings far, far behind Him.

We work, too, to get there. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians (this Sunday's selection: 1 Cor 15:45-49) promises that we'll succeed, that "we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one." Does that mean we'll look like God physically? No. It means we'll bear His real, true, and deepest image - His eternal, perfect love and forgiveness.

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