Saturday, February 19, 2022

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

In his General Audience on September 21, 2016, Pope Francis commented on today's Gospel of the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:7, 20-38). We reprint some of his words here, but the entire talk is well worth reading and praying over.
Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Bloch (detail)
We have heard the passage from the Gospel of Luke (6:36-38) that inspired the motto of
this extraordinary Holy Year: Merciful like the Father. The complete phrase reads: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (v. 36). It is not a catchphrase, but a life commitment....
If we look at the history of salvation, we see that the whole of God’s revelation is an unceasing and untiring love for mankind: God is like a father or mother who loves with an unfathomable love and pours it out abundantly on every creature. Jesus’ death on the Cross is the culmination of the love story between God and man. A love so great that God alone can understand it. It is clear that, compared to this immeasurable love, our love will always be lacking. But when Jesus calls us to be merciful like the Father, he does not mean in quantity! He asks his disciples to become signs, channels, witnesses of his mercy.
The Church can be nothing other than a sacrament of God’s mercy in the world, at every time and for all of mankind. Every Christian, therefore, is called to be a witness of mercy, and this happens along the path of holiness. Let us think of the many saints who became merciful because they allowed their hearts to be filled with divine mercy. They embodied the Lord’s love, pouring it into the multiple needs of a suffering humanity. Within the flourishing of many forms of charity you can see the reflection of Christ’s merciful face.

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