Mercy is Looking at God
December 14: Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent, Year C2
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Matthew 21:28-32
Because Jesus was merciful, “the blind and the lame approached him in the temple area, and he cured them” (Matthew 21:14).
But he was a threat to the chief priests and the elders—the religious and civil leaders in Israel. They asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things?”—teaching, healing, and bending the rules to help people.
Jesus could have answered like Balaam: “By the authority of ‘one who hears what God says, and sees what the Almighty sees... with eyes unveiled.” The leaders’ eyes were veiled: they saw only rules; Jesus looked beyond rules to the mind of God behind them. Because of this, he was merciful.
Pope Francis says that, above all, we must be “ministers of mercy.” There is always the danger of being “either too rigorous or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither really takes responsibility for the person”—or sees with the eyes of God.
Keeping or enforcing rules without mercy is disobedience, because it is against the mind of God and of the church. Pope Francis says, “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules...” Closed-minded people, attached to the letter of the law, close the door to hope, love, and salvation.
Open hearts open doors.
Daily Practice: See people in pain with the eyes of God.
Advent Prayer: Your ways, O Lord, make known to me