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Sunday, March 21, 2004

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Joshua 5:9, 10-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Psalm 34
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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the mercy corps

"I mean that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men's transgressions against them, and that He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us." —2 Corinthians 5:19

To give mercy is to treat others better then they deserve. God is a God of mercy. No one deserves the infinite love of God's Incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. We do not deserve to be God's new creations (2 Cor 5:17) and His sons and daughters (see Lk 15:18, 21). We do not deserve to be forgiven, saved, and sanctified. God, indeed, has been rich in mercy to us (see Eph 2:4).

The least and most we can do is to let God's mercy to us flow through us (see Mt 18:33). If we pass on God's mercy, we will continue to receive His mercy (Mt 5:7). However, if we do not let mercy triumph over judgment, merciless will be the judgment on us (Jas 2:13).

Therefore, let us be a people of mercy. By God's grace, may we decide to forgive graciously as the father of the prodigal son forgave (see Lk 15:20ff). May we be ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18) who lead others to "become the very holiness of God" (2 Cor 5:21). May we live and die to share freely the mercy we have received so abundantly. Lord, have mercy on us and through us.

Prayer:  Father, I decide to accept Your grace now to forgive my worst enemies.

Promise:  "This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found." —Lk 15:32

Praise:  Praise Jesus of mercy, our risen Lord! "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever" (Ps 136:1).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Beatitudes on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003