God is Merciful -Homily
January 31, 2016
In the readings of today we see that God may ask us to endure difficult
things, but he provides us with the means to succeed. The prophet is asked not
to break down before the people, but God says to him: “They will fight against
you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you to deliver you.”
Jesus also says what he has to say to the people of his hometown, and they try
to kill him, but they do not succeed. God is merciful with his prophet, God is
there to help. There is a trial, but there is a way out. Love is patient to
endure the trial, love is kind because it does not
take revenge. Jesus just passed through the midst of them, without hurting
anyone. God uses his mercy with his prophet, so that the prophet may be
merciful to others. God is merciful to us sinners, so that we may be merciful
even to our enemies.
Jesus was sent by God to release the captives and give sight to the blind.
Jesus is the face of the Mercy of God. Let me relate today the mercy of God
with the concept of father, so that we may understand better what it means that
God is merciful, and what it means that God is “our Father.”
1. What is to be a father? To be a
father is to give life to someone else. And it is beautiful, because you see
that another person is alive thanks to you. The fact
that this child is here, healthy, happy, the fact that he speaks and can enjoy
life is thanks to you. A father enjoys that he has a child, he enjoys that the
child is there, alive, happy, thanks to him.
God is our Father because he gave us life, and he wants to give us
everything, to give us as much happiness and joy as you can think of. God is
good. God is merciful. God is not happy if you are not happy. The joy of God is
to see that you are good, that you do good, and that
you enjoy doing good. The joy of God is to see you happy. The joy of God is
that you love him. Do we love God? Well, nothing gives more joy to God than to
see that we love him.
2. Jesus comes to release the
captives. What a terrible thing to be in prison! But some people
who are not in prison in the body, feel that they are in prison in their
spirit, because they are oppressed by fears, by addictions, by sin, by
depression. The worst prison is not jail, but sin: “Truly, truly, I say to you,
every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Jesus came to
deliver us, so that we may enjoy true freedom. Freedom is not just the possibility
of doing whatever we want. Freedom is the strength to do whatever we
want. Freedom is not indetermination, but self-determination. Freedom is what
allows a soldier to risk his life for his country, what allows a mother to
sacrifice her own interests for those of her children, what allows a martyr to
give up his life to preserve his faith. When we are enslaved to sinful pleasure,
ambition, human respect, we cannot be truly free. Jesus wants us to be free, to
enjoy the talents he gave us, but most of all to enjoy his love,
and to love him back. God is good, God gave us life to be happy, but there is
no happiness without God. There is no happiness without freedom,
there is no freedom if we sin.
That is why the true gift of freedom implies sometimes saying no to your
children, and that is why our parents sometimes said “no” to us. Freedom has a
price, which is self-denial. If you are not strong enough to say “no” to
certain things, those things overpower you, and you cannot be truly free. The
freedom God came to give us is a power to conquer worlds, it is a force, it is the courage of a warrior who cannot be overcome by
fear of death. It is freedom from sin, it is freedom to love, to love God and
our neighbour without counting the cost. God is good,
because he makes us truly free.
God is a good Father, God is merciful. Jesus came to give sight to the blind.
Is it good to be blind? But the worst blindness is when you cannot see a reason
for living, when you cannot see the meaning of life. “What I am here for? Why I
am here? Where do I go?” Even if you have to wear glasses or have to use a cane
to walk, the most important thing is that you know where you are going, that
you are going to Heaven. Jesus came to proclaim the good news that love is
rewarded, that our good works are rewarded, that our sacrifices for the people
we love are rewarded, that there is a God in heaven waiting for us to embrace
us for ever. God wants to be with us, God invites us to his home, and that is
why, no matter how difficult life is, there is hope, there is light at the end
of the hallway, there is a happy end, there is life after death, there is
infinite happiness. We desire to be with God, God looks forward to being with
us, and one day it will happen. That is the joy of a Christian, a joy that
nobody can take away from us.
God is good, God is merciful, God is our Father.
If he asks you to do something difficult, trust him, it is good for you. If he
tells you not to do something, trust him, it will not be good for you if you
disobey him. And if you follow him and obey him, you will be able to say: “The
Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.” (cf. Psalm
This is an
excerpt of an email that Rob Vandenberg received from Fr. Lawrence who is the
Pastor in the First Nation Community of Pic Mobert and surrounding area.
Greetings from Fr. Lawrence.
I personally want to thank you for all that you, as a
parish community, have done to our parish especially to the native people. The
principal told me that the children were very very
happy with the gifts and I distributed the sweaters and other gifts to the
elders and the native children at White River
I am so grateful to you and for all the parishioners who
were so generously helping our people here. As the Bible says, “Whatsoever you
do to the least of my brothers and sisters that you do unto me.” Yes You did to the Lord and made your Christmas meaningful.
May God bless all of you abundantly.