November 13, 2016

Journey of Mercy | National Bible Week 2016


Luke 6:36

36Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

Introduction

In keeping with Pope Francis's proclamation of 2016 as A Year of Mercy, the theme for National Bible Week is The Bible: A Book of Mercy. God reveals his mercy throughout the Bible:

  • God shows mercy throughout the Old Testament, including blessing a barren woman with a child (Genesis 21), doing away with human sacrifice (Genesis 22), giving murderers a second chance (Exodus 2; 2 Samuel 11–12), setting captives free (Exodus 5–15), and forgiving the people of Israel when they worship false gods (Exodus 32–34).
  • Faith-filled characters show mercy instead of seeking revenge, including Joseph forgiving the brothers who betrayed him (Genesis 37, 42–45) and David forgiving Saul who wanted to kill him (1 Samuel 24).
  • Christ's life abounds with mercy and the message of mercy pervades the Gospels.
  • The disciples' mission of mercy fills The Way as described in the Acts of the Apostles and in the epistles of the New Testament.

The following seven-day Journey of Mercy features the work of Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Bishop Barron's Word on Fire ministry and his beautiful video series on Catholicism have inspired millions of Catholics around the world.

In the seven days to follow, Bishop Barron will highlight biblical insights that show how God is Mercy, as well as demonstrating mercy given, mercy received, and mercy lived out.

Thank you for joining us.

Day 1: A God of Relentless Mercy

Praise the LORD, for he is good;
for his mercy endures forever;
Praise the God of gods;
for his mercy endures forever;

Who alone has done great wonders,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who skillfully made the heavens,
for his mercy endures forever;

Who spread the earth upon the waters,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who made the great lights,
for his mercy endures forever;

The sun to rule the day,
for his mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule the night,
For his mercy endures forever;

Who split in two the Red Sea,
for his mercy endures forever;
And led Israel through its midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who led the people through the desert,
for his mercy endures forever;

The Lord remembered us in our low estate,
for his mercy endures forever;
Freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever;
And gives bread to all flesh,
for his mercy endures forever.

Praise the God of heaven,
for his mercy endures forever.

Psalm 136:1–2, 4–9, 13–14, 16, 23–26

What do we mean when we say the word "mercy"?

It comes from the word misericordia: a suffering of the heart. It is a type of compassion found within the Latin root of "I suffer with …"—a deep identification with those who are suffering.

That's mercy.

And it is identical with what the Old Testament refers to as God's hesed, God's tender mercy. It is the characteristic of God. For God is love. It is not one attribute among many, but the very essence and nature of God.

God's mercy doesn't compete with God's demands. It's not like the more you emphasize God's mercy, the less you emphasize God's demands. Or the more you emphasize God's demands the less you emphasize God's mercy.

In point of fact, the true God is filled with hesed (tender mercy) and delights in lifting up human beings: "The glory of God is a human being fully alive."


What has been your understanding of God's mercy?

How has it shaped the way you relate to God? How has it shaped the way you pray?

How and when have you experienced Divine Mercy, the hesed of God?