Fourth Sunday of Lent The Mercy of God
The readings for this Fourth Sunday of Lent disclose one of the most important of all truths in our Christian tradition, “God is mercy.” Throughout our lives, we struggle with this message because it is not easy to forgive those who have harmed or hurt us, and it is also difficult for us to forgive ourselves for the mistakes or harms we have done and for which we must take responsibility. God is mercy. In one of his last breaths taken from the place of his torturous death, Jesus offered mercy to his murders and to those with whom he shared the death penalty of the cross. As we enter into this Fourth Week of Lent, let us take a moment each day and slowly read this beautiful Blessing below by Jan Richardson. Let this message of mercy, seep deeply into our hearts. Let us be mindful of where we are called to be merciful to others as well as to ourselves as we prepare to ponder Jesus’ Blessing of Mercy during the coming Triduum days.
The Hardest Blessing by Jan Richardson
If we cannot lay aside the wound then let us say it will not always bind us. Let us say the damage will not eternally determine our path. Let us say the line of our life will not forever follow the tearing, the rending we have borne. Let us say that forgiveness can take some practice, can take some patience, can take a long and struggling time. Let us say that to offer the hardest blessing we will need the deepest grace, that to forgive the sharpest pain we will need the fiercest love, that to release the ancient ache we will need new strength for every day. Let us say the wound will not be our final home; that through it runs a road, a way we would not have chosen but on which we will finally see forgiveness, so long practiced, coming toward us shining with the joy so well deserved.
Sister Arlene Flaherty, O.P.