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Posted March 28, 2012 in The Pope's Corner:
Blessed Are the Merciful

by Pope John Paul II.

Especially through his life-style and through his actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live—an effective love, a love that addresses itself to us and embraces everything that makes up our humanity….

Jesus [also] made mercy one of the principal themes of his preaching. …

It is sufficient to recall the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15: 11-32) or the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-37), but also, by contrast, the parable of the merciless servant (Mt 18:23-35).

There are also many passages in the teaching of Christ that manifest love-mercy under some ever fresh aspect. We need only consider the Good Shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep (Mt 18:12-14; Lk 15:3-7) or the woman who sweeps the house in search of the lost coin (Lk 15:8-10).

The gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ’s teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of "The Gospel of Mercy." …

At the same time, Christ, in revealing the love-mercy of God, also demanded from people that they also be guided in their lives by love and mercy. This requirement forms part of the very essence of the messianic messages and constitutes the heart of the gospel ethos.

The Teacher expresses this both through the medium of the commandment which he describes as "the greatest" (Mt 22:38), and also in the form of a blessing when in the Sermon on the Mount, he proclaims, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Mt 5:7)….

In this instance, it is not just a case of fulfilling a commandment or an obligation of an ethical nature. It is also a case of satisfying a condition of major importance for God to reveal himself in his mercy to us: The merciful… shall obtain mercy.

 

Excerpted from the encyclical, Dives in Misericordia (On the Mercy of God), #3.

 

 

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