What a wonderful joy fills us today as we ponder the inexhaustible mercy of God. “Mercy is the heart of God,” Pope Francis tells us. The image of a heart has been used to point to the very life source of a person as it is the organ that allows life to flow through our veins and sustain us. Mercy is the heart of God. Imagine this dynamic, powerful, compassionate, piercing, embracing, loving, propelling, penetrating, absorbing, and enveloping, transforming presence of God flowing into the very depth of our souls. It is God’s mercy that allows blood to flow through our veins. It is God’s mercy that forms every atom of our being and leads us to what is true. God’s mercy reveals all superficiality and falsehood, and lays bare all distortions, empty promises, weakness, and sin.
“Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope,” Pope Francis continues. God’s all forgiving, compassionate love is with us. When we finally believe and accept that Christ’s resurrected transfigured presence resides with us, we then find within us a strong confidence to accept life’s imperfections and disappointments and move on. Every day is a new adventure in new life. God leaves the past behind and opens doors to the future. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes we made yesterday. All that matters is what we do tomorrow and what we learn along the way. It is so easy to remain tethered and mired in the past, but there is no need to do so. God is all about tomorrow and the work God has yet to do in our lives.
Mercy gives birth to hope. Hope for the greatest of sinners and hope for the worst of disasters. There is nothing God cannot do and nothing God cannot fashion. After all, everything we know and treasure was once nothing, and look what God did with the nothing God had! The resurrected Christ stands before us with nail marks in his wrists and wounds on his body as a testament that not even injustice, suffering and death can trample over and destroy God’s mercy. What have we to fear? Why do we keep ourselves from peace? Our lack of faith prevents us from going forward and fully receiving the holiness God desires to breathe upon us. Breathe in God’s mercy, allow the wind of God’s presence to kiss all of your sins and caress all of your fears. Exhale peace.