“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed?” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley
In the year 2000, St. John Paul II instituted the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday when he canonized St. Faustina who promoted devotion to Jesus’ Divine Mercy. Mercy is something that is so desperately needed and, yet, is something that is so rarely given.
We often hold ourselves to a standard that is impossible to meet. None of us is perfect. None of us makes no mistakes. Why is it, then, that we so often demand perfection of others as well as ourselves and fail to show mercy when someone does not measure up?
One of the things that we often cannot stand is when someone calls us immature. If we are called that, we go to great lengths to prove someone wrong. We will do most anything to show that we are mature. Okay, then. “Unwillingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional immaturity.” So, what are you going to do about it?
The first thing that we need to do is to admit and accept our imperfection. If we can accomplish that, we will then be able to accomplish the next step: ask God for His mercy and forgiveness. God’s love is boundless and unconditional. Yet, in a sense, there are some strings attached. We have been told by Jesus that we cannot be forgiven unless we forgive.
We know that to be true. Anyone who is unloving is also unlovable. Anyone who is merciless will not be shown mercy. Anyone who is unforgiving will not find forgiveness. On Mercy Sunday, we remember our God who is merciful, compassionate, and forgiving. All of that can be ours as long as we emulate His merciful, compassionate, and forgiving love.
You might think that is impossible to do and, in our frail human nature, that might be true. However, thanks be to God, with His help, everything is possible.
We pray this day as we pray each day in the Divine Mercy Chaplet: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
FAITH ACTION: In all that you say and do this day, strive to emulate the compassion, forgiveness, and mercy that comes to us from God.