Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Journey Towards Mercy

By Lisa Helene Bacalski

They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. --Jeremiah 31:9a

Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
--Psalm 126:6

In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you. --Hebrews 5:5

Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. --Mark 10:51-52

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.

This week’s readings reveal the dynamic nature of God’s mercy. It is not a static gift in a box, but a journey and a transformation. God’s people are on the road in Jeremiah and today’s Psalm, leaving with tears but returning with great joy and carrying the graces of their challenging journey. Jesus traveled from heaven to become Emmanuel, God-With-Us, to be glorified by God and to offer his priestly sacrifice on the cross.

And finally, the blind man “threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus” who gave him the gift of sight. How daring and terrifying it must have been to walk in total darkness through a crowd of strangers. What if it was a trick? What if he was actually being led away from that preacher he’d heard so much about? Yet he followed the call. Like the blind man, we seek the face of Jesus with faith and hope, and like him, our faith will be rewarded in a transformative way through the mercy of God’s love.

As the universal church prepares to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy, schedule time each week for your journey towards mercy. Whether you choose more frequent confession, corporal works of mercy, spiritual works of mercy, or simply spend time with challenging people in your life, seek opportunities within your parish and diocese to see the face of Jesus. Don’t just make a date - take a journey!

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