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Dig deep, show mercy

The life of the Christian “ain’t no joke thing”. According to Fr Maurice White, “It really takes something out of you, and you have to dig deep in order to participate in this thing called mercy”.

He made these comments while speaking on the topic ‘Go and learn what it means when I say I desire mercy and not sacrifice’ at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Malabar, Divine Mercy Sunday event on April 7.

Expounding on the line “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” from the ‘Our Father’ prayer, Fr White said this is very difficult to do and he too has struggled.

Despite this, Fr White said in many families there are open wounds that need mercy, “people don’t understand each other, and they are doing things to each other that are not right.”

Fr White said Jesus stooped so He could raise up people. As Jesus humbled Himself, so too the faithful are to follow His example and not look down on others, betray or keep them down.

“God wants us to stoop down with people so that we can raise them up as well, we can raise their dignity,” Fr White said. Jesus’ response to the tax collector Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1–10) teaches mercy.

“We have to see the Zacchaeus in our own family, and we have to look up to them and speak to them even in their brokenness. That is what extending mercy is.”

Fr White focused on the elder brother in the ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ to discuss mercy in action. If the elder son was close to his father, he would have been compassionate and merciful to him while he was pining for his lost son. The elder son would have also shared in the father’s joy at his brother’s return. “We need to extend mercy to our families. We need to see the image God has of our family, that He wants our family to be whole again and you see those open wounds He shows us that are testament of His love,” Fr White said. Catholic faithful were invited to press their wounds against Jesus’ to receive healing.

Fr White highlighted a recent viral social media video of a mother physically and verbally abusing a child. He said there must be a conversation on what rising from the dead really means.

He added, “So we who are trapped in these situations can have Jesus come through the door and give us His peace, give us His mercy, in every situation in the home, in every situation in the Church.”