As we enter into Holy Week Luke’s Passion of the Lord provides us with a beautiful model of Christian discipleship: being a humble servant, in obedience to God’s will, and extending mercy and forgiveness.
As I reflected on the Passion, Jesus’ obedience acts of mercy really stood out to me. In obedience Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives, ”Father, If you willing, take this cup away from me, still not my will, but yours be done”. Jesus final words before his death on the cross was, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” In obedience with the Father he died to save us. In union with our humanity he suffered a painful death.In his mercy, Jesus healed the servant’s ear that was injured by Peter’s sword. Jesus also forgave his executioners stating, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. Jesus was offering his mercy to others as he was being persecuted by them.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, he continued to extend his mercy.The repentant criminal, known as Saint Dismas, asks Jesus, “Remember me when you comes into your kingdom.” Jesus responds to his request, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. Jesus extends his mercy to a man who admitted he was justly condemned
What a beautiful example of Jesus obedience to the Father’s will, giving his life to take on our sins, and extending mercy so we can be reconciled with the Father. Jesus didn’t come to condemn us. He came to save us by through his mercy and love. We just need to humbly ask for his mercy.
As we enter into Holy Week let’s be instruments of God’s mercy.
We all know people who have been away from the Church because of something they did in the past. They don’t feel worthy of God’s mercy. Pray for those who don’t feel worthy of God’s mercy that they be open to return to him. He loved them so much that gave his life to free them from the sins by forgiving them.
Why not be an instrument of God’s love and invite them to join us for Holy week services or to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Holy Thursday’s foot washing is a beautiful witness of Jesus humble service extending his love and mercy. Let’s ask for the grace to be merciful to others, as Jesus was, as we continue to receive the Eucharist.