Wednesday, May 12, 2010
This is a great day of Mercy. It is the final work of mercy when Jesus goes to prepare a home for each one of us: I go to my Father and to your Father, I go to prepare a place for you. In my Father’s House, there are many mansions.
It helps me appreciate this work of mercy, when I think of my own earthly father and mother who went to such trouble preparing a home for us. It happened quite a lot because we never really owned a home but simply rented a place, and every few years depending on working situations, we were on the move to a new home. I have vivid memories of all the loving caring work of preparation: carpets, curtains, lights and mirrors not to mention the mountains of bedding and kitchen stuff.
And in this work of preparing a home in heaven, the Heavenly Father wants our co-operation. God our Father has a great task in hands-- keeping this whole creation ticking over, seeing to it that souls are saved and getting all his faithful ones into heaven. He could do it all on his own, but he calls us to share in his work. While God has an infinite supply of mercy to pour out on the world, he ask us to share in his outpouring by being merciful ourselves.
Jesus says: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
And in the Fifth Beatitude: Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. It would seem that to pour out his mercy, The Almighty has need of our acts of mercy. As the Frenchman, Leon Bloy has written: We have the privilege of being needed by him who has need of no one. We are asked to give from the little we possess, but only to receive much more in return:
Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. Luke 6:38
By way of illustration let me tell of a couple who loved to work together in their garden. But this day the husband was on his own in the back garden. He was preparing to dig out the stubborn roots of an old tree. He toiled and sweated for over an hour until at last he knew it was coming. There was a surge of pride.... but then another emotion took over. He wanted his wife to share his little victory with him. He wanted her to have the thrill of pulling the old root out together with him. He didn’t really need any assistance. At least not in the physical sense. He had all the strength he needed for that. For love’s sake however, he needed her. He knew that she would like to part of his achievement. So he called her and together they pulled the old root out and dumped it. Together is better.
You notice the same thing when a strong man wins a seat in Parliament. He calls up his wife to stand beside him to share his hour of glory. Don’t we all want to share, to be needed, to be part of the project. As long as he needs me, goes the song. On the other hand there is the trauma of not being needed not wanted, not on the team. It must be terrible to hear those words: Surplus to requirement! Rejected! redundant!
In God’s plan of mercy, there is no redundancy. We all in it together. We have the privilege of being needed by the One who has need of no one. He has entrusted some work of Divine mercy to me which he has committed to none other. He wishes me to work alongside him in his own mission of mercy. Let me do so that I may find mercy in my hour of need.