Thought for the Day – 28 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Mercy of God
“Let us meditate, in particular, on certain passages in the Gospel in which God’s Mercy stands out most vividly and appealingly.
There is the incident of the adulteress who is brought before Our Lord by the hypocritical Pharisees.
According to the law, she should have been stoned to death.
Jesus looks at her accusers, who harbour, in the secrecy of their own hearts, God knows how many abominations but strut about in public with the mien of stern and impeccable judges.
Then He rivets His gaze upon the shamefaced woman, who is looking like a soiled rag thrown away on a dust-heap.
When Jesus addresses her relentless judges, His voice is steady: “Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to cast a stone at her.”
When they all drift away with lowered heads, Jesus says pityingly to the woman: “Has no-one condemned thee? … Neither do I condemn thee. Go thy way and from now on, sin no more” (Cf Jn 8:3-11).
Elsewhere, Jesus is called “the good shepherd” Who knows His sheep and calls them to Himself one by one.
If a poor sheep is lost, He leaves the other ninety-nine of His flock and searches for it, nor does He rest until it has been found.
When He sees that it has been injured, He carries it back to the fold upon His shoulders.
Who could forget the touching parable of the prodigal son?
He had left the home of his aging father and had gone to a distant country where he had squandered his inheritance in the course of a low and worldly life of pleasure.
When all his money had been spent, he was very much alone and was reduced to such circumstances, that he took a job looking after unclean animals.
One day, when he was weeping over his fare, he made a sudden resolution, “I will get up and go to my father and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. I am no longer worthy to be called thy son.”
His father had been waiting for him for many years.
He met and embraced him and gave him the kiss of pardon.
Then he held a great feast because his son had repented and come home.
He “was dead and has come to life, he was lost and is found” (Cf Lk 15:11-32).
No matter how great our faults may be, let us trust in the infinite Mercy of God and when we go to Him repenting and sorrowful, He will grant us forgiveness and peace.”