Advent is Here…Is Mercy?
Do advent and mercy fit together? As we know, Advent has begun, and we must do our best to embrace the special channels of grace that are going to come our way. The Father’s loving heart has plans for each one of us. We need to be open to the grace of God’s mercy that will undoubtedly come to us. I believe this grace will come in one of two ways: A. Through the most unlikely of situation and persons. (even complete strangers) AND B. From those with whom we are most familiar and perhaps too often take for granted – specifically, our family and relations
Scenario (a) has to be more than a pious aspiration though. We should ask God for His grace to place people in our path from whom we might be recipients of his love, even non-believers. This is about deepening our confidence and trust levels in Christ. In the Diary of St. Faustina, we read; “Most dear to me is that soul that strongly believes in My goodness and has complete trust in Me. I heap my confidence in it and give it all it asks.”
So if we are at times fearful by the cares and woes of life, which can certainly hit us all from time to time, let’s ask God for consolation. However, let us be prepared for Him to select the source He wants us to have it from.
Scenario (b) is a ‘given’! Of course, we expect to receive gestures of love and encouragement from our nearest and dearest. However, if we want the quality of that love to be more than just seasonal goodwill and cheer we must first give more love. We must give more mercy! Thus, by God’s design and foresight we will be rewarded for our generosity to our loved ones.
Mercy in Advent:
I am always reminded of Luke 7:47. This is when the sinful woman anoints the feet of Jesus. She washes them with her tears and wipes them with her hair. He proclaims, “she is able to love much because she was forgiven much.” In other words, when it comes to mercy and how we yearn to experience it, we reap what we sow. Oftentimes, in family circumstances, going that extra mile is a big ask. Yet when we extend the hand of mercy, the mercy that God has in store for us, will come.
I end this thought with a link below to a truly remarkable image of a 12th century Book of Hours. This image was probably crafted in southern Germany. What strikes me about this image of the Nativity is the very rarely, ACTIVE infant Christ reaching out to His Blessed Mother. One can almost sense her natural human weariness.As a new mother shortly after childbirth, here is the beautiful vision of the outstretched hand of God of the baby Jesus touching His Mother. The infants hand consoles his mother. May we all feel that same outstretched hand of Christ to us and in turn reach out from within our hearts to others in imitation.