Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalms 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9
Mercy, to me, is the juxtaposition of today’s readings. This is particularly true in the Gospel when Christ tells us exactly how often we should forgive: “number beyond counting.” He continues with the story of the unforgiving servant as a contrast. The result was the servant, who showed no mercy, was handed over to torturers. In Azariah we are taught to rely on God’s mercy and we will not be put to shame or abandoned.
We are called in Lent during our times of prayer and contemplation to review our own repentance. For me this starts with myself first. Knowing the ultimate act of mercy which is fulfilled on Good Friday, I must look at my own life and review if my actions with others is Christ like or am I an Ungrateful Servant. Have I been there, fences to mend in my family, at work or with friends? Am I showing enough mercy to my neighbors as a whole? Have I remembered the hungry, the lonely, the impoverished, the imprisoned, the naked or the strangers in my community at this penitential time in the Church year? As a follower of Christ, if not now during Lent, then when?
My progress over the years has not been perfect but has certainly been bearing fruit. To do this on my own would be impossible. What has been needed is the grace of God. So I continue on during the autumn of my life with continued prayer, meditation and actively helping others. The Gospel reading was a reminder to use Lent as a springboard. As always, I keep reminding myself that all things are possible when I open myself up to the grace of God.
By Joe Zaborowski