06 March 2006

Mercy Begets Mercy

At today's Mass, the Gospel reading was the Last Judgment scene where Our Lord interrogates both the blessed and the cursed. The questions revolve around the works of mercy they have (blessed) or have not (cursed) done. The grounding for these works of mercy is the Lord's mercy toward us. In fact, it is His mercy that produces in us mercy toward others. Therefore, for the homily, I chose a selection from St Peter Chrysologus where he ties together Ps 111.2 and Ps 145.9.

Here is a salient portion from that homily:

The prophet runs totally to [the Lord's] mercy, because he did not have any confidence in his own righteousness. "Have mercy on me, God," he says, "according to your great mercy." (Ps 51.1) And why it is great? "Because your mercy," he says, "is great towards me, and you have plucked my soul from the depths of the underworld." (Ps 86.13) And if God restores through mercy what had utterly perished through judgment, what, oh man, were you imagining would stand, would stand firm for you without mercy? (Sermon 42, "A Second [Sermon] on Fasting" in The Fathers of the Church, 109.171-172)

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