by Sister Marcella Nachreiner
Mercy is who God is. It is love’s other name. Mercy is forgiveness.
God is more interested in our future than in our past. He takes past sins seriously but never as the last word. God wants each of us to become the best person he wills us to be and this requires conversion — a change of heart. Genuine mercy believes God’s grace has the power to transform us. God does not owe us forgiveness. Nor does God’s mercy license us to continue to sin — it demands a response to go and from now on sin no more (John 8:11). God’s mercy motivates us to do better.
God’s forgiveness is an easy thing to obtain. One needs only to ask. God forgives — he opens his loving arms and grants mercy. He gives love away.
We do not have to feel guilty over the reality of our human frailty. God is not going to sternly judge us. No, God is running down the road toward us, eager to wrap his arms around us and kiss it better. The enormity of God’s love, which is so vast it is beyond measure or comprehension, creates in us an awareness of the depth of our inadequacy. But that awareness does not trigger feelings of unworthiness. Rather it creates a sense of poverty which allows us to trust fully in God and willingly accept his bountiful love.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts of the spiritual life. It enables us to be released from the sorrows of the past and reminds us to forgive others without hesitation, without question. Without question is hard to do, which only illustrates more clearly God’s love. Forgiveness simply says that we will never put someone out of our heart.
Jesus says “Be merciful, just as the Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Our holy father St. Francis who was touched by God — filled by God, burned with a desire to help others believe in their goodness. He invites us today to rebuild our lives in the image of God, whispering in our ears ever so gently, God is waiting for your response.
We believe Pope Francis’ and St. Francis’ mission is clear: help people find reconciliation with themselves, others and God. Day by day rebuild individual lives, communities and the world.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Second Homily as Pope Francis
Jesus has this message for us: mercy. I think—and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy …. It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! “Oh Father, if you knew my life, you would not say that to me!” “Why, what have you done?” “Oh, I am a great sinner!” “All the better! Go to Jesus: he likes you to tell him these things!” He forgets, he has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you and he simply says to you: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). That is the only advice he gives you. After a month, if you are in the same situation …. Let us go back to the Lord. The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace not to tire of asking forgiveness, because he never tires of forgiving. Let us ask for this grace.