Mercy is Waiting and Working
December 7: Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent, Year C2
Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew 18:12-14
Pope Francis chose December 8, 2015, to open a “Year of Mercy” because that day marked the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of Vatican II. Just as the Council looked to renew the church, Pope Francis proclaimed that mercy is the key to the church’s continuing renewal in a “new phase of her history.”
Pope Francis called mercy “the very foundation of the church’s life and credibility” and said, “Wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.”
So, there is no better way to spend Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year, than to let thoughts of mercy fill our minds and to let mercy grow in our hearts.
“Mercy” means to come to the aid of another out of a sense of relationship. Advent means “coming” or “arrival”; so, the focus of the season is on waiting. If we put mercy and Advent together, then we are waiting for all the individuals and nations on earth to grow into the kind of relationship with each other that will encourage mutual help instead of competition and conflict. Then the kingdom of God will be established!
This is an active waiting. We “have mercy” on one another by working to bring it about.
Daily Practice: Observe people around you in the store, at the gas station, at the post office, or in a restaurant or some other public space. Look for someone for whom you can do a small favor and do it as if that person were your brother or sister - because they are your brother or sister.
Advent Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me "come to the aid of others out of a sense of relationship" today and every day.