The Mercy of God
The compassion of Jesus toward the widow who had lost her only son is an example for all of us. Let us take a closer look at the event and compare it with other miracles that Jesus accomplished.
– He is going in a different direction: As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out.. For the interpretation of the Gospel this fact is very important for us.
You may hear the expression “He/she went beyond of his/her duty.” This means that someone helps another more than the person is required. In this case, it is the same: Jesus is not involved in the life of this woman or her town; He is not part of the funeral procession. He is just approaching the city. At the same moment, the funeral procession is going out of the city. Jesus stops and helps.
Here is something that we should consider: sometimes our excuse not to help others is that they are not along our way. They are not part of our daily lives; they are not a part of my life. Yet the gospel teaches us that we should stop and help, even when we have to go out of our way to do so.
– There is no request: In many others situations, those afflicted with illness or their relatives or friends asked Jesus to intervene… This time there is no request, only Jesus’ understanding that this woman is in pain at the loss of her only son. But … even though there is no request, out of mercy Jesus helps: When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her.
What a wonderful example of mercy and how we should act! At times, we wait to be asked to help. We wait because, like Jesus, we have to see a need, we had to see what needed to be done. But we do not act because we think that some other person will do it, or because no one told us about the need. Does this seem familiar?
I have the opportunity to work with people here at Saint Martin, individuals who do everything, beyond their description jobs, never complaining that this or that is not their responsibility. They just see a need and do it. What a pleasure it is to work with them.
Real mercy is to act when we see a need, without excuses or delay. If we learn to act in this way, everything will be better for us and also for those who benefit from our merciful actions. This lesson of mercy was given to us by Jesus many centuries ago, yet we still struggle to learn it. One reason is our lack of love. But if the person in need is my son or daughter, my mother or father, my best friend, or the person I love, there are no excuses, there is no waiting or debating about whether we should act or not. No, we will do everything in our power to assist.
When love is real, is not our view of the world different?
Let us, as individuals and as a community of believers, work toward that love.
Then our actions will be motivated by love, following the example of our Lord