Daily Word of Grace # 117 (August 26, 2020)

In his 2016 book The Name of God is Mercy Pope Francis described God’s mercy this way: “Etymologically, ‘mercy’ derives from misericordis, which means opening one’s heart to wretchedness.  And immediately we go to the Lord: mercy is the divine attitude which embraces, it is God’s giving himself to us, accepting us, and bowing to forgive…For this reason, we can say that mercy is God’s identity card.  God of mercy, merciful God.  For me, this really is the Lord’s identity” (8-9).  This is very good news.  What if God’s identity card was “God of wrath, wrathful God”, or “God of anger, angry God”, or “God of vengeance, vengeful God”?  Thankfully, God is indeed the God of mercy…and it is this mercy of God upon which we are solely dependent.  In his parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector Jesus contrasted a self-righteous Pharisee who bragged about both the bad things he never did and the good things he did, with a tax collector who simply prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  Jesus emphasized that it was the tax collector who “went down to his home justified, rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).  Because God is indeed “God of mercy, merciful God”, what is true for the tax collector is true for you.

Love and Prayers,