Taste and See: The God of mercy and compassion

Boats and barque

The responsorial psalm on Sunday celebrated the compassion of God.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love. How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The eyes of all creatures look to you and you give them their food in due time. You open wide your hand, grant the desires of all who live.

You  open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

The Lord is just in all his ways and loving in all his deeds. He is close to all who call him, who call on him from their hearts.

You open wide your hand, O Lord; you grant our desires.

Psalm 144:8-9,15-18

Cardinal Walter Kasper in his recent book, Mercy, says that the defining, distinguishing quality of the One God, Father, Son and Spirit, is mercy. It is this quality that is manifested again and again in the scriptures, in the Old Testament and in the New.

He also notes how each of the 114 suras of the Qu’ran, with one exception, begin with the words: ‘In the name of God the All Merciful, the Most Merciful’.

The gap between how God is known to be, and how believers are, Muslims and Christians, is regularly exploited by those whose job it is to stoke up controversy and sell papers and advertising. Our frailty, our sin, is used to detract from the truth and holiness of God, and of religion.

God can surely overcome that ‘bad press’, but we owe it to God and ourselves to at least try to play our part too!

  • How does the mercy of God find an echo in your life?
  • How does it find an echo in the life of your community?

Image is of an art installation in a war-damaged church in Liverpool, photographed in 2006. Photograph (c) Allen Morris.

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