WACOM IV – Philippines (January 16-20, 2017)
COMMUNION IN MERCY, MISSION FOR MERCY (CALLED BY MERCY, SENT FOR MERCY)
- Throughout salvation history God is experienced as eternal and unending mercy (Psalm 86:15). He is a helper who gives his people hope. His merciful power is benevolent, and makes a faithful and enduring commitment. In the formation of Israel, the chosen people, and the call of the Church, the people of the New Covenant, God has consistently and unfailingly employed his undeserved graciousness to present to the world a universal sign of his mercy.
- Jesus Christ, the fulfilment of Israel and the head of the Church, is the incarnation of this divine merciful graciousness. His Paschal Mystery is the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of His Father’s mercy towards us. His mercy is more powerful than death and sin.
- Jesus Christ called disciples to himself, representatives of the Church as a communion gathered by the merciful initiative of God. None of them deserved that intimacy with the Lord and no one in this Church deserves to be part of it. Our baptism, our faith and life of discipleship are fruits of His grace. The unity of all in the Church is sustained by God’s continuing merciful love; we are united in the mercy of God, a communion in mercy!
- All in the Church are sinners, prodigal children to whom God runs to meet with mercy and forgiveness. we are to be receivers and givers of the same mercy within this community (MISERICORDIA AD INTRA). St. Pope John Paul IIstated this so clearly in his second encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” (1980): “The Church must bear witness to the mercy of God revealed in Christ…professing it in the first place as a salvific truth of faith and as necessary for a life in harmony with faith, and then, seeking to introduce it and to make it incarnate in the lives both of her faithful and as far as possible in the lives of all people of good will” (n.12).
- The saintly pope also, seeing divine mercy as object of the Church’s missionary proclamation, said: “The Church, professing mercy and remaining always faithful to it, has the right and the duty to call upon the mercy of God, imploring it in the face of all the manifestations of physical and moral evil, before all the threats that cloud the whole horizon of the life of humanity today.”
- Seeing that the absence of mercy in the world unleashes divine wrath (Rom 1:31), Christians must show love and compassion in their hearts to everyone around them; they cannot be unsympathetic to their neighbors in need for the love of God is only found in those who show mercy – 1 John 3:17 (MISERICORDIA AD EXTRA)