Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Talk Notes from Divine Mercy Sunday

In case anyone missed the short talk I gave on Sunday night, or heard it and wants to revisit it, here it is:

Romans 6:23 - the wage of sin is death. The natural consequence of sin is death.  For our sin, we deserve death.    The conscience places demands on us to be perfect as the Father is perfect.  We are imperfect, we are fallen and we deserve death - eternal death.  This is merely just.  When we choose sin, we choose a lesser good, we choose to break our relationship with God.  We choose against being united with God as his children.  The just consequence of sin, the just punishment for sin is death.
So what is mercy and why is it important?

"Mercy as it is here contemplated is said to be a virtue influencing one's will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another's misfortune."  See etymology of St  Augustine - misericordia -  "a Heart which gives itself to the miserable."  Mercy is a completely gratuitous act - it is compassion - literally entering into the passion/suffering/misery of the other, so as to alleviate misfortune.  
If the consequence of sin is death, the consequence of mercy is freedom from sin and freedom for new life. 

Jesus, his death and resurrection are the ultimate act of mercy.  Augustine says that "Christ is God's mercy."  We experience God's mercy most profoundly in the sacraments, we encounter Christ most intimately in the Sacraments - where God's mercy, His grace, His life is poured out for us.  The question that we have to answer, and keep answering is if we will believe and accept it. 

Probably the most intimate place we experience God's mercy is in the sacrament of reconciliation.   We experience this mercy every time we receive forgiveness in Confession.

We also experience mercy in the Eucharist, God's ongoing sacrifice of love for us.  Just as Adam and Eve fell to sin through eating the forbidden fruit, we gain life through eating the body of Christ, the Bread of Life.  He has poured himself out for you. 

Dynamism between adoration and communion:  Adoration is an extension of the Mass.  In adoration, we look upon Him and our hearts yearn to grow in devotion, our hearts yearn to receive Him.  And, in receiving Him at Mass, our hearts yearn to remain forever in His presence.

Challenge tonight [heading into adoration] - to invite God's mercy into your life, which is nothing other than inviting Christ into your life, for the first time, or the thousandth time.   Christ is the Heart which gives itself to the miserable.  What does it mean for your life that God has mercy on you?  What does it mean that His heart longs to save you from yourself and from your sin? What does it mean that he longs to draw near to you? Why do you push away from Him?

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