Jesus dreamed of a people who, by the quality of their lives, would salt the world and leaven the whole mass. Jesus called for new relationships where people would take primacy over institutions and ritual. The God whom Jesus revealed is the God of mercy, the outpouring of love for the sake of God’s world. Jesus came to struggling humanity to teach us how to say yes to such a God. We are to be perfect as God is perfect: perfect in mercy not sacrifice, in forgiveness not ritual. We are to be a people of self-emptied love, delighting in the dance of life, in gentleness, love, peace.
Adapted from Bette Moslander, CSJ
Create in me a new heart.
What is your image of God? Of the meaning of being Christian? How does it match the God of Jesus? Are you caught up in a concept of ritual and rule over a faith of mercy and compassion? Reflect on this.
I desire mercy and not sacrifice.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
A merciful heart can go out and meet others ready to embrace everyone.
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
The heart of the Christian Gospel is precisely that God is the all holy One; the all powerful One is also the One full of mercy and compassion. He is not a neutral God inhabiting some inaccessible Mount Olympus. He is a God who cares about His children and cares enormously for the weak, the poor, the naked, the downtrodden, the despised. He takes their side not because they are good, since many of them are demonstrably not so. He takes their side because He is that kind of God, and they have no one else to champion them.
We can’t heal the world today but we can begin with a voice of compassion, a heart of love, an act of kindness.
Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering.
When we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisoned, we bear witness to the compassion of Christ.
Love is not patronizing, and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
Note: On this Father’s Day we pray for all Fathers.
May they be a source of love, example, and guidance for their children.
May they be blessed with good health and many years.
May they receive the love and respect of their families.