Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life. (Jude 21)
I remember to the days of my youth. We used to play a game called “mercy”; not too uncommon from the “mercy” games of today.
In it, one would continue to squeeze the hand of an opponent until that opponent cried out for mercy. If you were able to get the other person to cry out — or, even better, to scream out — “MERCY!”, you were the winner.
That is absolutely not the kind of mercy being spoken about in today’s first reading.
God’s mercy is not something that is foisted upon us because we are suffering too greatly until we are overcome and beg for His mercy.
God’s mercy is freely given to us and leads us to eternal life.
In the letter from Jude today, we hear about how we are not only supposed to wait for the mercy of the Lord, we are to emulate the mercy of the Lord as well by being as merciful to one another as we wish the Lord to be merciful to us.
That is a pretty hard thing for many people to do.
After all, they may wish to receive mercy from God. However, they are reluctant to give mercy to others.
In the manner we give, we are to receive.
If we want mercy, we must be merciful.
FAITH ACTION: Is there someone to whom we refuse to show mercy or forgiveness? Do all that you can to have mercy on that person today. It might be actually speaking with that person and forgiving them. It might be a mental nod toward mercy. It might be a pray to God asking you to show mercy. Somehow, take a concrete first step to showing mercy to one from whom mercy has been withheld.