Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Here we see Jesus saying for the first time what he says throughout his teachings: if you want to be forgiven, you should forgive others. The Jewish idea of mercy/forgiveness was to get right inside the other person and see issues from their point of view. Our word ‘sympathy’ has the same goal: ‘sym’ — together; ‘pathy’ — suffer. Suffering with the pains and fears of others is a path of relief for ourselves, according to Jesus. The ancient Jews used their Sabbath day to go back over the week that had transpired and brought God into everything that had happened. I suggest you go back over your week of bumps and bruises and consider where you can show mercy to people around you — and clean that slate. The most important person you may need to forgive is you. People who are unmerciful tend to be very hard on themselves. Break that cycle today. Don’t carry resentments and self-doubt into this precious next week of your life. You need mercy, so give it.
Lord thank you for your expansive mercy. I am sorry that I don’t share it or take full advantage of it for myself. I will show people mercy (including me) so that your mercy and grace can flow into my life. Amen.