Matthew 5 vs 7
“Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy”
Sometimes we think of mercy, be it understood as compassion or forgiveness, in the same way as Christmas gifts, I give you and expect you to give me. Come on, secretly that’s how we think isn’t it? Or even to turn the image the other way around, she gave me a gift I have to get her something and so you rush out to “Marks” on Christmas Eve to see what’s left that’s presentable. Maybe not the best way to think of this Beatitude!
What is mercy? Well the dictionary defines it as compassion or forbearance shown to enemies. Of course thought of as compassion, mercy may be shown to those who are in need who are not necessarily enemies, but I find it interesting to see how Jesus put this, the order in which mercy comes. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. The order has reversed from that say found in the Lord’s Prayer, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, or that in the parable of the unmerciful servant who himself received mercy but when the time came had not been changed by the experience and so did not show mercy to his fellow servant.
I ask myself the question and by implication you, what makes people merciful is it just nature or character, they happen to be born that way or is it more? I think it is acknowledging their own nature and failings, understanding their own need of mercy and the help of others, and for believers it is having the mind of Christ. Today be proactive and show mercy be it in thought word or deed.
Lord again today I acknowledge my sin and my failings, my need of help and forgiveness and I thank you that you are merciful to me. Instil in me the nature and mind of Jesus that I may show compassion to all in his name.