Mercy is Recognizing
November 30 Tuesday of the First Week of Advent, Year C2
Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24
After World War II, two Japanese seminarians came to study with us. A few years earlier, had we met in battle, we would have killed each other. Later, we hired a German who had fought in Hitler’s army. For three years, I spent every evening visiting with him and his family. Had we met during the war, we would have seen each other as enemies. This gives a sharp meaning to Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah: “Not by appearance shall he judge.” And it suggests a reason why, in his kingdom, “there shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.”
Because of knowledge, as our psalm response says, “justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.” We just have to see each other as God sees us.
By “grace” we share in God’s own divine life, and by “faith” we share in his own divine act of knowing. By these gifts we can know the mystery of our graced relationship with human persons just as the Three Persons know their relationship with each other. This raises mercy-helping others out of a sense of relationship-to a divine level. It makes mercy as limitless as God.
Christian mercy is based on recognizing relationships as divine.
Daily Practice: Look at everyone with eyes of faith.
Advent Prayer: Lord, enlighten the eyes of your servant.