• Immersed in Christ

Mercy is One and Diverse

December 13: Monday of the Third Week of Advent, Year C2

Numbers 24:2-7;15-17a; Matthew 21:23-27


I call three men the “holy trinity” of Guatemala: Jorge, a chicken farmer noted for just wages and concern for his employees; Alvaro, a bishop who risks his life defending the poor from industrial exploitation and pollution; and Jose, a doctor serving the poor, who began his practice among native Mayans, living in a dirt-floor house. To me (using language the church uses to speak of the Holy Trinity) these three are all “equal in majesty and undivided in splendor” because of the witness of their Christian lives, but distinct in “what is proper to each person”—that is, in the way each shows mercy to the poor.


It is as if these three had asked John the Baptist in the gospel, “What should we do?” To the doctor he said: “If you have more education than others, use it for those who have none; if you have skills, use them for the poor.” To the businessman: “Don’t take more money than is right.” To the bishop: “Do not abuse power or suppress the truth for favors.”


One and the same divinity shines through their humanity in the diversity of their personal acts of mercy. Knowing these three makes me “shout with exultation... for great in [our] midst is the Holy One of Israel:’


Daily Practice: Share and serve.


Advent Prayer: Lord, be my strength and my kindness.



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