The Quality of Mercy

We believe in a God of mercy and compassion who is tolerant of our weaknesses and forgiving of our offenses.

We need forgiveness when we break asunder the relationship between ourselves and others around us and between ourselves and God or when we break our relationship with the true core of our being.

But mercy is about more than what we do when we destroy relationships; it is about reaching out to others.

Pope Francis has described mercy as “opening one’s heart to wretchedness.”  When we open our hearts, we discover we enter into a different relationship with God and change how we live and we really are. In fact, this relationship to others shifts our focus away from ourselves to looking at what other need and what we must do to help them achieve their dignity and destiny.

Mercy is about presence, about being with the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and the most vulnerable in our world, our country and our city, communicating God’s merciful love to them.

Are we able to serve the sick, take care of them during the night, or feed the children who are hungry? Is our image the image of standing with, accompanying the lost with profound compassion, which comes from the gospel invitation to see our suffering neighbor as Christ: “For I was hungry and you gave me food.” Throughout the year, we have been constantly called to respond to the needs of hungry of children in our city, the question: “did we make a donation to the Food Bank or at the Grocery store?

“Naked and you clothed me?” Throughout the year, we as a University community have received request to “clothe the naked” especially the children of immigrants and poor students in our schools. How many of us have clothes hanging in our closets that will never be used, yet they sit gathering dust or contributing to clutter?

We need forgiveness not only for what we do – breaking the relationships that really matter – but for what we do not do for the suffering Christ in the dispossessed and marginalized in our city and our world.