“Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
Marriage is a God-given daily opportunity to live the truth of this scripture. Being merciful to our beloved means that reconciliation is our top priority during conflicts. It means that we reach acceptance during disappointments. And we pray for better understanding before making assumptions. And we make peace not by avoidance of the hardships that come with working through problems together, but by working through the problems together. And we forgive long before we finish the work.
“If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian,” Pope Francis said in a homily on September 10, 2015. “You may be a good man, a good woman, but you are not doing what our Lord did.”
“What’s more,” he added, “if you can’t forgive, you cannot receive the peace of the Lord.”
He concluded this homily by noting that, as Christians, we are called to convey tenderness, goodness, humility, meekness and magnanimity. This style, he said, “is the style in which Jesus made peace and reconciliation.”
It’s not easy. Every day our spouses give us opportunities to prove our Christianity, our willingness to do what Jesus did. And every day we give our spouses opportunities to do the same. Even in the best of marriages. The more time we spend together, the more this is true.
We cannot succeed by our own efforts and will power. To do what Jesus did, we need the power of Jesus. We need the source of mercy.
Pope Francis, therefore, ended his homily with this prayer: “May the Lord give all of us the grace to support one another, to forgive, to be merciful, just as the Lord is merciful with us.” Amen!
- How have I experienced mercy from my beloved?
- How has my beloved experienced mercy from me?
Strengthen your relationship:
Take turns describing a time when you gave or received mercy from the other. How did you feel about it then? How do you feel about it now? Finish with a prayer that thanks Jesus for his mercy and name some examples of why you need his mercy. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an increased desire to give mercy to each other and to the people in your lives who have caused problems.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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