|Cardinal Tobin: God’s mercy is extended to everyone|
|My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,St. John Paul II, in his encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), reminds us that mercy is a distinguishing characteristic of the Jewish and Christian understanding of who God is, how God relates to his people, and what he expects from us.“Slow to anger and rich in mercy” is a phrase that is repeated over and over again in the Scriptures. The parables, teaching and example of Jesus consistently emphasize God’s mercy (and his demand that we also show mercy.) There is something reciprocal about divine mercy. One who is loved and forgiven is expected to show compassion and forgiveness toward others. In the Lord’s prayer, we implore God our Father to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”The passion, death and resurrection of Jesus represent the ultimate outpouring of divine mercy. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy,” St. Paul tells us (Ti 3:5). But unless we acknowledge our own sinfulness and the mercy of God, which alone can set us free, we remain stuck in our sins, weighed down by the corruption of our minds and hearts, miserable people who cannot know Easter joy.|
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