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THURSDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

21ST JULY 2022


THE VALUE OF MERCY.


JEREMIAH 2:1-13

PSALM 36:6-11

MATTHEW 13:19-17

The context of today's Psalm makes clear the realities of the situation of those who are praying it. They live in the midst of a godless people. There is no sense of the sacred, no acknowledgment of God's presence.

The psalmist is a realist who is aware that there is opposition to God. This is the same situation in today's first reading in which the people fell into easy idolatry by exchanging the glory of their salvation for things that do not profit them. They have forgotten what God did for them.

You will notice that in the first reading God is reminding the people of how good and devoted they were. God also shows the people how guilty they have become and how evil has come to be upon them.

If that is the case, then what should be the response of the people? The response is to seek God's mercy and that is why the word has been used three times in the Psalm to show that it is something that the people need.

The people need mercy because their current spiritual position leaves them in darkness, leaves them ignorant and indifferent and without this mercy they will remain in that same situation. It means that mercy changes the situations in which people are in. It also shows that mercy saves because without mercy who are we? Without mercy where do we stand? What is left of us without mercy?

The psalmist mentions the mercy of God fully aware that it is there and that it is needed and this is seen in the words: "Your mercy, Lord, reaches to heaven, your truth to the clouds." It shows how wide God's mercy is and in this wideness we see that God does not leave us wallowing in sin and sorrow when we make errors.

Generally, in life you go for what is available and expect to be given. This is the reason in Luke 18:9-14, the tax collector who went to the Temple to pray said:" Oh God have mercy on me a sinner," because he believed in the availability of that mercy and expected it to be extended to him.

Mercy is something that you not only seek to have once but it is something you seek to have it maintained because of the value you attach to it and the fact that it is needed constantly just like food to the body and fuel to the car.

It does not mean that what made you seek mercy in the first place will be completely eliminated by mercy, it can recur but there is confidence that you can still seek the same mercy because the moment you seek it you really need it.

Remember earlier on we asked: Who are you without mercy? What is left of you without mercy? Where do you stand without mercy? We are what we are, we have what we have and we are where we are because mercy was shown or extended to us by others and above all by God.

Let us again consider what is happening in the first reading and what is happening is that God has brought a case against the people who are unable to sustain their faith in the world. This case is meant to bring them back to their senses so that they do not become assimilated into what they are pursuing. Mercy has the purpose of making them effective in their faith, it makes them improved because it makes them seek uprightness of heart.

The mercy of God helps us determine issues well in advance, analyze the failure trends, identify preventable issues while for sudden failure, you can always define some standard actionable steps of faith.

In your own words, how can you define mercy.

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