Tag Archives: mercy

A Father Rich in Mercy

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Run Time: 0:16:29. Gospel: Lk 15:1-32.

A link to the encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, can be found here.

…God looks upon us in our weakness and sees first that original goodness in which He created us. That original dignity and beauty in which He delighted at creation and saw indeed that it was very good. And so the fact of His mercy rests upon this: That He remains our Father. That while we may reject Him, and may choose to live as though we had none – as though there were no Father in Heaven. He remains. And He looks upon each one with the same love. Mind you not a false compassion, or hard heartedness. But I think those are the two extremes to which – into which we can fall. Either saying, “Well you’ve messed up and that’s it. You’ve buttered your bread, now sleep in it.” (We’re great at mixing metaphors in my family). “That’s it, you’ve sinned, you’re out, you’re done!” That is not the view of God the Father. There is no sin into which we can fall, there is no distance that we may wander that God will not call us back and receive us back as His beloved sons and daughters…

What Do We Actually Do?

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Run Time: 0:11:43. Gospel: Lk 10:25-37.

Our country is becoming more and more divided as the days go on. Each passing day, something makes that fissure wider between us – between classes, or races, or whatever. But we can really help mend that by doing these things [the spiritual and corporal works of mercy], in the sphere – the small sphere of influence we have with those around us – that’s how we change it.

Have You Heard Jesus’ Voice?

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Run Time: 06:06.

Gospel: Jn 10:27-30.

‘There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.’ And so many times I have heard others exclaim – in honest hunger, ‘Show me Jesus!’ Yet Jesus is always about to be seen and heard. If I want to hear Jesus in the quiet of my heart, can you imagine that the business of my life could extinguish that gentle voice? Can you imagine that my anger with the injustice of the world and with wrongs done to me, that it could blind my vision to the ever-present gentle and merciful Jesus? If only we could practice gratitude. If we could practice taking the time when we can really listen.

Grace Is What Is Given

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Run Time: 12:43. Gospel: Lk 15:1-3, 11-32.

…against Pelagius, St. Augustine argued for the position of grace, that is, that God first gives the prompting and we cooperate. And in that cooperation with God’s prompting even by the work of coming to holiness, God is helping. So [my seminary professor] asked me, ‘who is Pelagius?’ and my mind, of course, went blank. And I stumbled a bit and he gave me the time period. And then he said, “Well the one who argued against Pelagius was St. Augustine, whom we call the Doctor of Grace,” and I said, “No, no, no! I can do this, don’t help me,” and I got credit, stumbling into the answer.

This is the position of the one we typically call the Prodigal Son, in this probably the greatest and most well-known of our Lord’s parables. From one step to the next you notice what is the most prominent pronoun: me, mine, and I.

“Give me what is mine, what I have coming to me!”

And of course if the father had decided to have a moment of brutal honesty: “Well what do you have coming to you that you didn’t first get from me? Here’s a big empty basket for you.”

[The Prodigal Son] begins with “It is mine.” And of course he goes off and squanders that, and having squandered the inheritance given to him, what is left? Apart from that inheritance of the father there is no sustenance. There is no nourishment. There is no life. And so he finds himself literally wallowing with pigs. And even there, “Well I’ve got the fix, if I could have these pods that I give to the pigs.” We do that ourselves, “I may be in a low state, but I can contrive the fix, I’ve got the answer, I’ve got the solution.” And what seems the treasure is feed for pigs.

Life of Discipleship

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Run Time: 12:33. Gospel: Mk 10:46-52.

Jesus said, “Go your way.” Now Bartimaeus may have said, “Well, I’ve been blind all these years, my way is about the one block of this village that I know by heart.” And he makes the path of the Lord his way. He makes the path of Jesus his path. And he follows him with that confidence again, with that determination to live a changed life to live a life of discipleship, to live the discipline of a follower of Jesus Christ. There again, if we are truly converted (or we might say, truly converting – it is a lifelong process that directs us towards Him), that the encounter with Jesus bears fruit in a longing for Him. That the turning towards the Lord grows in a conviction to follow Him ever more fully and more faithfully this path of the Lord. This receiving of His grace, His very Life, turns us into other Christs so that departing from Him is unimaginable. This is what it means to have known the saving work of God within us. That in my loneliness I call out to the Lord. In His glory He invites me and as His beloved son or daughter might follow Him and with Him have Life.

Recognizing Our Lord

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Run Time: 4:51.  Gospel: Lk 24:35-48.

We search for what God has made eternally present to us – His Son, Jesus Christ. Yet, often, we do not recognize Him. It is as if a veil, or haze, has been brought down over our vision. That veil, of course, being our sin. Our choosing other than God, other than neighbor. God never gives up on us. He continually, in his mercy and love, makes His very self present to us.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

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Run Time: 6:33.  Gospel: Mt 9:1-8

…that the power of God in the confessional, through the hands of the priest, the minister of the sacrament, is so generous and so freely given to anyone who comes who is sorry for offending God and neighbor.  Perhaps we could ask ourselves, then in our own lives: … in what ways do we manifest in our lives outwardly, our faith in the fact that we have been forgiven of our sins?

How Can We Be Perfect Like God?

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Run Time: 5:40.  Gospel: Mt 5:17-37.

How can we be perfect as the Father is perfect?  Allow Jesus to dwell in your heart.  As you do so you’re brought into the very life of God, then you will find yourself sharing God’s love – perfectly.