Mercy Is Accepting
December 5 Second Sunday of Advent of Advent, Year C2
Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6
Elizabeth was a rebellious French teenager whose mother insisted she go to confession every week.
She went to Fr. Xavier Leon-Dufour, a Scripture professor at the
seminary where her father worked. At their first meeting he asked her, “Do you really want to confess, or did your mother send you?”
“Mother sent me.”
“Good. Let’s do yoga.”
So, every week Elizabeth sat on the floor and did yoga with a world-renowned biblical scholar whose ministry to her, instead of confession, was the sacrament of mercy. He accepted relationship with her as a fellow human, a wavering Christian teenager in need. He saw her as she was, understood her, and responded.
By dealing with what she was instead of what she “should have been”, he echoed St. Paul: “I am confident...that the one who began a good work inyou will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We have to walk “winding roads” with people if we want to help them “be made straight.” If we accept others’ “rough ways” with love until they are “made smooth;’ then “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Fifty years later, Elizabeth is still a practicing Catholic. She has read Leon-Dufour’s books. But first she read his heart. He saw and accepted her as she was. That is where she found Christ.
Daily Practice: Accept people as they are. Work with them.
Advent Prayer: Lord, teach me mercy.