Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Saint John Paul II wrote in his letter Rich in Mercy (#13) that “mercy is the greatest attribute of God”. Our Gospel for today tells us about Jesus ‘ invitation to be merciful, just as His Father, our Father in heaven, is merciful. Mercy was the premise on which Jesus built His other commands to stop judging, to stop condemning, to forgive, and to give gifts. Mercy is the foundation on which every aspect of Christian life should be based. But wait, there’s more; it’s not a mercy based on what I think is right or just, but rather a mercy according to the Heart of the Father of mercies.
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”
The mercy of the Father does not judge or condemn; the mercy of the Father forgives and gives gifts. The mercy of the Father calls and beckons for repentance and a change of life in order to move closer to His embrace, and this mercy does not allow the sinner to continue in its sinful behavior or lifestyle. The mercy of the Father is our source of joy because it liberates us from our slavery to false idols and to self and draws us to the adoration and worship of the true and living God. The mercy of the Father leads us to relationship and unity rather than escape mechanisms and division. The mercy of the Father leads to dialogue, reconciliation, and truth rather than opinions that divide. The mercy of the Father leads us to the way, the truth and the life, that is, the person of Jesus Christ.
Today, let us ponder the mercy of the Father that He so desires to impart to you and me. Let us pray and say, Father, let me receive your mercy today; I want to receive it from You so that, like You, I can be merciful to others and lead them to your Son.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
When you think of the mercy of God, what does it mean to you? How have you experienced the mercy of God in your life?
In what ways is God's mercy calling you deeper into relationship with Him?
How can you let the mercy of God lead you to show mercy to others today? What specific ways or relationships might He be inviting you to bring mercy to today?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You are merciful oh Lord."
"Help me be merciful."
"Make me like You."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find a time today to put down all distractions and let yourself be in silence to contemplate the mercy of God and let Him speak to you. Give Him that time, and let Him reveal His deep love and mercy.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Ervin Caliente, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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