We are called to mercy
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be
brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not
conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called
you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.( 1st Peter 13-15)
In Christianity we are called upon to put on Christ Jesus. St. Paul says as much when he made the statement that: “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”. (Galatians 2:20)
Paul’s experience of putting on Christ was not some sort of intellectual exercise but a lived reality for him. We are called to understand what it means to belong to the Priesthood of the Faithful, to unite ourselves to Jesus in such a way that His life becomes ours, is in fact ours. We are called to put on the ‘Mind of Christ”, to allow our hearts to be absorbed into his and to see with his eyes. To see others just as he saw the woman at the well, with eyes that saw deeply into her humanity and in that she was healed by that loving compassionate gaze.
The death to self is a call to greater life, to a deeper humanity, to a life of oneness with all. So that when we pray we become one with Christ Jesus before the Father of all. Prayer is not just about asking, but about union with God and with all of humanity and creation. For we all groan for the day of the Lord when his kingdom comes to full bloom, though now it can be hidden, yet still experienced in the hearts of those who truly seek to love as we are commanded to love.
We are called to mercy, to heal, not to judge and condemn. In our humanity, we seek revenge on those who harm us, Christ Jesus sought mercy and he forgave all. If only it could be understood what it means when scripture says: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
There is much talk of love, but true love does ask a death to self that is total and goes against just about everything we are taught to believe by the many cultures throughout the world. In the end all we can do is to be open to this transformation and allow grace into our hearts as we let go of fear and grow in trust. As Jesus said: “Fear not, I have overcome the world”, John 16:33