“Have mercy as your Father is merciful”

Practicing spiritual and physical works of mercy should be part of the daily life of Christians

Lucini Martins / Oh Sao Paulo

Celebration of Divine Mercy Second SundayThe Easter, the twenty-fourth Sunday, was an occasion for Catholics to remember an enduring obligation: the fulfillment of works of mercy.

According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, “Acts of mercy are acts of charity by which we help others with their physical and spiritual needs. Guidance, admonition, consolation, and consolation are acts of spiritual mercy, as are forgiveness and patience. Physical acts of mercy consist above all of feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and accommodating the thirsty.” the homeless, wicker clothing, visiting the sick and prisoners, burying the dead” (CCC, § 2447).).

The practice of mercy was a constant in Jesus’ life and in the recommendations he gave to his disciples. In the Gospel according to Luke, Christ affirms: “Have mercy, as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). As the Evangelist Matthew mentions, Jesus said before the crowd: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matthew 5, 7); And then, in proclaiming the Last Judgment, he affirmed that the righteous would be saved, and they would have eternal life, because they gave food to the hungry; To drink thirsty. They welcomed the stranger, dressed the naked, cared for the sick and visited those in prison (cf. Matthew 25:31-46).

Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, in his message, said: “Today, on the Day of Mercy, we remember that we have all been merciful to God, we are called to be merciful and to open our hearts to the needs of our neighbors and to help all with kindness.” Homily for the Mass, which he presided at the cathedral of C.

Bishop Odilo emphasized that the resurrected Jesus is present in the world in different ways: through his word; in the Eucharist. When Christians gather in his name; And in the brothers, especially those who suffer the most.

Translating faith into works

In the letter of St. James, it is stated that it is useless for a person to say that he is a believer if he does not translate it into works for the benefit of others: “For example, if a brother or sister has nothing to wear and lacks what is necessary to live, from every day, and says To them one of you: Go in peace, and warm and be filled with abundance, but if you do not give them what is necessary for maintenance, what good will it be? That it be in it? So also faith: without works is dead” (James 2:15-17).

In an article published in Sao Paulo, On September 15, 2009, Cardinal Shearer, commenting on this passage, indicated that it contains the criterion of authenticity of religion.

Jacob refers to “works of faith” that translate faith into coherent life and behavior. Above all, attitudes of love for God and neighbor, respect for truth and honesty,” he said, also commenting that “the Catholic faith, without love, is not authentic. Therefore, it must be translated into daily charitable practices towards others; If a person has wealth in this world and sees his brother in need, but he closes his heart to him, how does God’s love remain in him? Little children, let us not love in word and mouth only, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:17-18). Charity, tangible assistance to those in need, relieving the pain of those who suffer, a commitment to social justice and a defense of human dignity and rights are all tangible expressions of faith that work through alms. .

By them we will judge us

In the package leaflet Misericordiae Vultus (MV), 2015, in which he proclaims the extraordinary jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis affirms that mercy “is the way that unites God and man, because it opens our hearts to the hope of being loved forever, despite the limits of our sins.” (MV, 2) .

As the pontiff warned: “We cannot escape from the word of the Lord on the basis of which we are judged: if we give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty; if we welcome the foreigner and clothe the naked; if we take the time to visit the sick and the imprisoned (cf. Matthew 25:31-45). In the same way He will ask us if we help get rid of the doubt that causes fear and is often a source of loneliness; if we can overcome the ignorance in which millions of people live, especially children deprived of the help needed to extricate themselves from poverty; if we stop the lonely and the afflicted; if we forgive For those who offend us and reject all forms of hatred and malice that lead to violence. If we were patient on the example of God, patience is upon us. Finally, in prayer, we entrust our brothers and sisters to the Lord” (MV, 15).

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in the post Diving into mercy (DM), published in 1980, Saint John Paul II already warned that the topic of mercy seemed forgotten: “The contemporary mentality, perhaps more than the mentality of the past, seems to be opposed to the God of mercy, and in addition tends to separate from life and removing the idea of ​​mercy from the heart of man.The word and concept of mercy seems to cause inconvenience to man, who, thanks to the tremendous development of science and technology, unprecedented in history, has become the master of the earth, subjugated and controlled it (cf. Gen. 1). 28). Such a supremacy over Earth, sometimes understood monistically and superficially, leaves no room for mercy” (DM, 2). However, every Christian’s obligation to works of mercy remains in effect; After all, at all times, “charity bears the fruits of joy, peace and mercy” […] And the end of all our deeds is love” (CCC, 1829).

Moussa Becerra /cathedral


Learn about the fourteen acts of mercy and do them.

Physical acts of mercy:

  • feed the hungry
  • Give the drink to the thirsty
  • dress up nudes
  • pilgrims welcome
  • Visiting the sick
  • Visiting prisoners
  • Burying the dead

Spiritual acts of mercy:

  • Give good advice
  • teaching the ignorant
  • blame sinners (correct the wrong)
  • Condolences to the afflicted
  • Forgive the offenses
  • Patiently endure the weakness of others
  • Pray to God for the living and the dead

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