A Moment for Mercy - "They will look on the one they have pierced"

16. Good Friday: They will look on the one they have pierced.”

This is the day to gaze in silence and contemplate the mysterious depths of God's mercy towards humanity, being present to Jesus as he suffers and dies. 

Whenever we are in the presence of death or of great suffering we find ourselves tongue tied. Though we feel helpless, unable to find words that bring consolation, we know that our presence is of great value, both to those suffering and to ourselves.

Something very similar takes place within us today as we witness the blameless lamb being taken to the slaughter. And all this for us. Out of God's infinite mercy he who was without blame took on himself our own suffering. We are astonished to discover that by his wounds we are healed.

As we seek silence in our hearts to be present to Jesus and his mother in their deep suffering, we worship in wonder at the mysterious depths of the divine mercy. We find ourselves called to trust even more in this great mercy, whatever our misdeeds and shortcomings, and to understand that to be merciful is something that makes us really similar to the Father. 

We are baffled and hurt whenever being merciful brings suffering and misunderstanding rather than the gratitude and acknowledgement that we yearn for. Today we realise that this has happened to Jesus too, and we know that when this happens to us, we are being the disciples treading the path of the Master as we carry our cross every day on the way to true life. 

Listen to St Paul's encouraging words, 'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?'  This is the day to tap into God's mercy and ask for the impossible.

By Paul Pace, SJ 

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