December 24: Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Year C2
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Luke 1:67-79
Mercy is the key to family life: constantly accepting, helping, forgiving one another out of a sense of relationship.
My classmate’s father was an alcoholic. He drank his family from affluence into poverty three times. I could not understand why my friend’s mother put up with him. But his mother kept living out mercy. To paraphrase the gospel, she had promised to show mercy to his father, and she remembered their holy covenant. In the end, mercy triumphed.
King David was a murderer and rapist who betrayed those loyal to him. But God did not reject him. He had promised, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.” His mercy inspired today’s responsorial psalm: ‘“My kindness is established forever: In heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.”
Mercy inspires faithfulness. Faithfulness inspires mercy. The “virtual definition of God," according to the Jerome Biblical Commentary, is the combination of love and fidelity, or “steadfast love” (Exodus 34:6).
Obviously, God’s love should be the key to all human life. It is just as obvious that married life should model it.
Daily Practice: Be as merciful as God.
Christmas Eve Prayer: Say the Our Father thoughtfully.