I love butterflies and insects. They are so industrious and so beautiful (well maybe not a flea or cockroach). They are the bringers of transformation to the gardens, forests and fields pollinating, flowers that in time produce a harvest. Why not stop in your busy lives and walk in a park or garden and watch the number of insects flying and drinking nectar? They are transformation agents.
This fifth beatitude is a reminder of the heart of Christ who came to seek and to save that which was lost. It is far more than pity, a feeling sorry for the mess mankind has made and the misery sin brings. It is pity plus action, love and sacrifice. God is not the divine Santa who secretly discovers the naughty or nice. We have all sinned, we have all fallen short and all in need of God’s pity plus saving action. Peters description of Christ’s mercy is “ He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by his wounds you have been healed”
We live in a world that is calling out for love and transformation. There are the fearful elderly locked behind closed doors, the bullied and oppressed, the international reaching out for community and relationship. The disciple is a dispenser of God’s mercy and a transformation agent to bring order out of chaos.
1. What do you think Jesus means by merciful, and how can we reflect this in our daily lives?
2. If your life was a party who are you throwing it for? Mat 5:46. If you love those who love you even the mafia do that!! Think about those in your school or workplace that are isolated, lonely and make an effort to reach out and show them kindness. Talk though what you can practically do to show God’s mercy.
3. Identify the 3 areas or communities around where you live and go to church. What practical ways can you and others show the love and mercy of Christ?
4. Look at your local church and ask how welcoming it is for the newcomer, the guest, the Muslim or Hindu? What practical steps will you make to show visitors the love and mercy of God?