7th January

In this year dedicated to Divine Mercy, it is appropriate to reflect on this article ‘Mary, Our Mother of Mercy’ from the Winter edition of the Journey to Our Lady e-letter.

If we need help understanding the depth of God’s mercy and the role it plays in our daily lives, we need only to look to Mary for her guidance. Mary our Blessed Mother has a profound understanding of God’s mercy because she witnessed it firsthand.

God so wanted to save the world from itself that He took on human form, LMA 083entering the world as all others do, and in the most humble way. With Mary as His mother, the Son of God was born in a manger. It was there that Mary embraced God’s loving mercy.

How fitting to be born in absolute poverty and who else but a humble handmaid of God and her chaste spouse could raise and guide Him. Our Lord could have nothing to detract from His mission. Jesus came into our world with one purpose — to give us God’s mercy and Mary was a reflection of that mercy.

Consider the Salve Regina prayer: “Turn then most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us and after this exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb Jesus.” Because Mary said yes to God, we can all benefit from His Divine Mercy and share His mercy by the way we live and treat one another just as Mary shared it and continues to share it.

“The revolution of tenderness is what we must cultivate today as the fruit of this year of mercy: God’s tenderness towards each one of us. Each one of us must say, ‘….God loves me as I am; so I must love others in the same way,’” said Pope Francis. (Vatican News Service 12/2/15) [God’s unconditional love for us does not mean that repentance is no longer relevant in our lives. In fact it increases the urgency of repentance as we seek to respond fully to that love.]

Truly, being merciful is not easy particularly when we have been wronged or hurt by someone; that is why we must turn to Mary. God gave Mary the strength to be merciful during her earthly lifetime and as our Mother. How else could she have endured her trials and heartbreak at her Son’s death? How else could she reach out to us through the centuries, calling on us to amend our ways and to pray for mercy? When Mary appeared before the three shepherd children of Fatima, she did so as an act of mercy. The world was at war; Christians were being persecuted, and as Our Lady said to the children, Our Lord was very much offended. Are we seeing similarities today?

Yes, we all want peace in our world and Mary is here to help us find peace. Remember, Jesus gave us Mary to be our Mother as an act of mercy. Therefore, let us follow Mary to where she wants to guide us which is back to Jesus and God the Father. Let us embrace Jesus as Mary embraced Him and let us hold onto God’s loving mercy which will give us everlasting peace.