Opening The Floodgates of Mercy

Constantly, we are told in the Scriptures that God is merciful towards us and that we, in turn, should be merciful towards others. Given its centrality in our faith, it is important that we understand what mercy is. The Hebrew word for mercy – ruah – is based on the word for womb. It is not just a sense of common feeling with another or even of compassion. Rather is a deep relationship with a person, akin to the experience a mother has with her child, especially one in the womb. When we feel mercy towards another it is as though that person is carried under our heart, flesh of our flesh. We feel mercy like this towards others because God has been merciful to us. [Living Liturgy 2017]

Lack of mercy in our lives doesn’t come about because we have closed our hearts to other people but rather because we don’t recognize and appreciate the mercy shown to us by God. Maybe some reading this have not committed serious sin and do not have the experience of being forgiven by God in that situation. That does not mean they have not experienced God’s mercy.

In mercy, we have been created. Made in God’s image and likeness to be children of God, we are carried under God’s heart. God took on our human flesh in the person of Jesus that we may see how close and loving God wants to be to us. Simply by meditating on the wonder of our being we can realize the mercy in which we are immersed. This realization lets the floodgates open in our hearts and lives and allowing mercy to flow to others. It is not a feeling we ‘work up’ in our selves, judging the rights and wrongs in the situation, but rather a grace we allow to flow through us. As we allow it to flow, we become ‘like God’ giving salvation and hope to our broken world.

Adapted from Renew International Prayer Time Cycle A 2020