Living Catholic in the 808:
What Does Mercy Really Mean?
I believe today’s Gospel offers us the key to understanding what mercy actually looks like in the nitty gritty reality of our lives. Certainly, I could talk about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, quote Pope Francis, or discuss the Catholic devotion called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But, nothing explains God’s mercy like the experience of peace Jesus offers in today’s Gospel.
Afterall, if you really, truly believe in the resurrection — that evil does not win, that death is not the final answer, that our weaknesses and limitations are eventually and forever banished by Jesus — if you experientially glimpse this, what emotion are you likely to have?
Initially, it will probably be complete, overwhelming awe. Moses at the burning bush. John at Jesus’ baptism. The disciples in the Upper Room.
But, in the long term, in the midst of the ordinary daily grind, I believe that awareness of God’s love and mercy manifests itself in Jesus’ peace. I mean this literally: the more the resurrection gets into the marrow of our bones, then the more we experience and know God’s mercy. And this experience slowly but surely gives us peace in the midst of life’s happenings.
“Peace be with you.”