Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36 NABRE
Luke is sharing Jesus’ teaching which is called the Sermon on plain. Many good thoughts are shared by Jesus in this teaching, including the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. Jesus goes beyond what would have been a typical Jewish formulation which may have read: Do to no one what you yourself hate. (Tobit 4:15) We should do good to others and abstain from mistreating anyone even if they do not appreciate or reciprocate. This rule is challenging us to rise above others, to live as Jesus lives, in fact Jesus challenges us to be an imitator of him. The standard Jesus proposes is that we imitate God who is Himself kind and we’ll have a life that can be great. This imitation of God requires disciples to be merciful, just as God the Father is merciful. Jesus is interpreting the Torah commandment, “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2.) God’s mercy goes beyond justice, it is a means to provide what is not deserved, to be ridiculously generous. This is our call, to give and forgive beyond what could be imagined. When we are merciful, others will see God in us and want to know God as we know God.
God’s mercy is addressed throughout the scriptures. Some may say God’s greatest mercy is providing Jesus His Son as a total act of mercy and love. The two go hand and hand. To know how to be merciful we just have to think of our young children or grandchildren, don’t we want the best for them and aren’t we willing to overlook anything they might do that is wrong. If we treat all people as we would treat the youngest in our family, we will be merciful and imitate God.
What are some merciful acts you can perform today? How can you lift up another?If we treat all people as we would treat the youngest in our family, we will be merciful and imitate God. Click To Tweet
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