THEME: Be Merciful as the Father!

BY: Fr. Justus Oruma



(a) You can forgive someone you cannot punish but Mercy has to do with compassion shown to a defaulter within ones power to punish. It goes with cancellation of punishment due to fault. It could be a reduction or a total cancellation of the punishment. “Be merciful as the Father” was excerpt, used by the Church for the year of Mercy. The parable of the lost sheep and the prodigal son tell us how much God is ready to lavish His mercy on anyone who returns to him.

(b) We, like the entire people of Israel are all products of the mercy of God. Who among us have not received mercy before? St Paul attested; I was mercifully treated” (1 Timothy 1:16.). We ought therefore to be merciful unto our fellow when they plead for our mercy.

(c) Sometimes we are heartless to our fellow human beings and would even also want God to deal with them mercilessly. Many people have gotten opportunities like Moses to plead, intercede or speak for the good of others before authorities but would instead heartlessly destroy their fellow or mischievously keep mute when and where they could speak for someone’s favour. Even when God threatened to destroy the entire people and make of Moses a great nation, not minding that that would make him look outstanding;- he thought- what is there great to me if the entire people are destroyed and I alone stand.-This is a heart merciful as the Father. Have you ever seen yourself in the position of Moses before? Did you speak for yourself at the detriment of others? Sometimes we overreact more than God Himself. The Pharisees were angry that Jesus treated the sinners with mercy and compassion. The brother of the prodigal son had a heavy heart against his “lost but found” brother and was angry that he received the mercy of the Father. In addressing his Father, he would even no longer call him “a brother” but said, “this son of yours”. See how one could be so hard and reject his brother whereas, as written in the letter to the Hebrews; “Jesus was not ashamed to call us his brothers” (Heb.2:11)- Be merciful like the Father- See how hard and merciless we are sometimes, dealing with our own people, our own partners, our own brothers and sisters, even our own blood relatives. Be merciful as the Father. See how the Father was no longer interested with what the son did but was concerned with his return. -and the son rightly said, “I do not deserve to be called your son” yet his return was the cause of a great feast and celebration. Remember always that you are a product and still now a beneficiary of the of mercy of God and perhaps of some people. If God is to punish us according to our sins, there could no more be the human race. “if you o Lord will mark our guilt, who would survive” (ps. 103:3). Be merciful to people who plead to you as the Father- Misericodes sicut Pater.

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