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Do you object to God’s mercy?

Divine Mercy Sunday is the Church’s assertion of God’s boundless mercy and healing for broken humanity. Everyone is in need of some sort of healing—physical, emotional, or spiritual—simply because we mortals are broken!  
 
All of us live with some illness, either physical or emotional. It could be an illness that has caused us great pain and suffering, or some bad habits, addictions, or emotional infirmities that are so deeply ingrained and long-standing, that it seems like they are part of our genetic make-up. 
 
Yet, a disturbing question that should confront the people of God is do we object to his mercy? This would sound absurd if it weren’t true. We grow up in an environment that demands justice but rejects mercy! Human understanding of justice has to do reparations for damages caused or rewards for merits and punishment for wrongs. Thus we have no objection in appreciating the meritorious, but the notion of accepting the sinner into the Church-circles leave us fuming! 
 
The result is, so many of us today end up living a life without any joy or hope in life. Many are in a perpetual sadness because they just live with their pains, wounds and flaws, addictions and behavioural disorders. Is there a way out from this world of despair?  Can we be healed? How do we weed-out our weaknesses?
 
Divine Mercy Sunday is a reminder from the aggrieved mother Church as she calls her children to the unrestricted and unconditional Mercy of God. No one disagrees on one’s love for Jesus who gave the tax collector, Matthew, a place among the apostles. We love Jesus who forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery, and accepted Mary of Magdala from whom seven demons were driven out, as one of his close followers. We love Jesus who taught us about the workers in the vineyard who were called in different times of the day for the work. In all these, we love the Lord for his leniency and mercy. 
 
Yet, we forget about mercy but instead cry for justice when we are transgressed. We want the offenders be punished and justice be done! In the parish community, I was confronted with this question: “Why should the habitual offenders be allowed in the Church?” In spite of repeated warnings and even reprimands, some refuse to change! Should they still be accommodated in our communities? 
 
Before looking for answers, consider who could raise this question in the first place? Who am I to judge someone else worthy or unworthy to be part of the Church? Divine Mercy is reminder that justice without mercy is meaningless. For a life of joy and hope, mercy and love are more important than justice and adherence to the laws.
 
St. John of the Cross, in his book, The Living Flame of Love, proposes a way to heal our wounds, moral flaws and brokenness by developing our virtues. The more we grow in mercy, gentleness, and generosity, the more our old wounds, temperamental flaws, and addictions will disappear from our lives. Positive growth of our hearts eventually chokes out the weeds. 
 
The Word of God echoes in our ears, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” jose