24 March, 2020

God’s mercy is fresh and new every morning.

~ Joyce Meyer ~

Ezekiel 47:1-9,12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16

God knows what is best for us. The mercy of God goes beyond the limitations we set on others and ourselves. The sick man we hear about in today’s Gospel had been incapacitated for thirty- eight years. The merciful and loving Jesus is immediately drawn to him and wants to do something for him. When Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed, notice that he does not give an answer but gives him all the reasons why he has not been able to be healed. He comes across as someone who is a bit whiny! Without further questions or a list of conditions Jesus effortlessly tells the man to “arise, take up your mattress and walk.” God’s mercy is limitless and this is the lesson we are being taught today.

 

The vision of new life that Ezekiel offers in the text we hear today speaks not only of God’s mercy but also God’s generosity – the two are closely linked.

 

Both of these texts invite us to ponder just what God can and will do for us despite our inability to help ourselves (or others), and our ungrateful attitude. It is clear that it is not up to us; it is all up to God. Even when we let God down, God does not stop working in our lives. God, in great mercy, will not only offer us healing but also something new. God’s generosity can never be outdone.

 

We must do two things. First, examine our lives and identify times when God has been extraordinarily merciful and generous to us. Perhaps, in reflection, we will notice how God has taken the initiative and how much we have received. Second, what God has done for us we are invited to do for those around us. The way God deals with us is the same way that we are asked to deal with others. When we are able to see others through the generous mercy of God we become more like Jesus and the most important question we begin to mercifully ask others is, “Do you want to be healed?”

 

Lord Jesus,

 

Thank you for all you continue to do for me in your great generosity and mercy.

 

May I learn how to place your heart of generosity and mercy at the centre of my heart.

 

Amen.

 

Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

This reflection has been adapted from Have Mercy, O Lord! Daily Reflections for Lent by Grant Tungay SJ, Russell Pollitt SJ, Annemarie Paulin-Campbell, Puleng Matsaneng, Anthony Egan SJ and Frances Correia, & published by the Jesuit Institute South Africa in 2016.

Reflection prepared by

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Matthew manages the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and is involved in the Spirituality work whilst completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course run by the Institute.

m.charlesworth@jesuitinstitute.org.za @mcharlesworth
See more from Matthew Charlesworth SJ

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