“We want to live this Jubilee Year in light of the Lord’s words: Merciful like the Father. The Evangelist reminds us of the teaching of Jesus who says, “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36). It is a programme of life as demanding as it is rich with joy and peace. Jesus’s command is directed to anyone willing to listen to his voice (cf. Lk 6:27). In order to be capable of mercy, therefore, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.” – Pope Francis Misericordiae Vultus
We have to know the mercy of God the Father before we can possibly show His mercy to others. I remember a conversation I had with a college student when I was a Graduate Assistant. This young lady had poured her entire life into advocating for and working for justice and charity. She was doing amazing things. Yet her life, by her own admission, was a wreck. She had lost all hope, she was depressed, and she could not even eat a healthy diet without feeling the weight of guilt and despair for the injustice she had witnessed. She was a very merciful person but she had run dry, she had hit her limit. She could no longer give what she did not have.
Pope Francis implores us to know the mercy of God before we show the mercy of God. How do we do this? We make time for it! Every day. We carve out time in our day for silence and to reflect on the Word of God. God’s Word is effective, it changes us, it challenges us, and it fills us with joy and peace. If we attempt to show mercy on our own our well will inevitably run dry. The mercy of Christ is unending and we must spend an inordinate amount of our time making Christ the center of our lives.