Recently, I was sitting in with a group on middle school students. One of the their school-mates had committed suicide and they were hacking at understanding all the God-stuff connected with it. Heaven? Hell? Forgiveness sought? Forgiveness given?
I reminded them that Pope Francis has a favorite topic and that it is Mercy. When asked if anyone knew what Mercy was, one young person had that glimmer of recognition in her eyes and so I directly asked her. She claimed that mercy is what is shown when one team has a really large lead and is clearly going to win then they no longer work on running up the score.
Mercy is an attempt to even out the playing field. Mercy is appreciating the dignity and worth of the other. Mercy indicates that we are not necessarily satisfied with the culture’s evaluation of a win and want to play and live for the love of the game.
Recently, as Pope Francis was preaching on the raising of Lazarus, he reminded us that it shows us that “there is no limit to the divine mercy, which is offered to everyone… The Lord is always ready to roll away the tombstone of our sins, which separate us from Him, the light of the living.”
In the series of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska’s revelations that lead to the formation of Divine Mercy Sunday, we were reminded that God’s mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of God’s most tender mercy.
I’ve really tried much harder not to keep score, lately. I’ve been operating in faith with the understanding that Mercy Rules at the end of the game and all will be fair on the end. My freedom from the pressures of winning or losing has provided the space where I might be more merciful myself. Somedays.