I’ve recently been doing a study on the Beatitudes taught by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. He declares blessings are upon individuals who practice specific traits. I am currently on mercy which has proven to be the most difficult to teach on. One of the main questions that I wanted to address was who do you show mercy to. We are prone to have an easier time showing compassion and forgiveness to those closest to us or those who are most like us, especially those who think like us. The further away we perceive others to be  from our “likeness”,  the more rigid we often become in our tolerance of their offense or shortcoming. Social media is a prime example. We have become polarized and hardened our attitudes and become less compassionate toward those who we think are different.

Please do not get me wrong. We need honest public dialogue to deal with some major issues that are affecting peace in our society. Action must be taken to see the changes that produce a just society. I am simply concentrating on the merciful and compassionate side of humanity that I believe can change individuals when the law and judgment cannot.

We have our stories of hate, anger and frustration but I believe we need to make room for stories of mercy and grace in the midst of the fire.

It’s easy to find differences in others, even a reason to dislike them but I believe love is the strategy that Jesus taught and practiced. Let’s be committed to tearing down walls of division rather than building them up. You’re in a blessed state when you can be merciful towards others in need especially when they are not in your circle.

May God’s Grace and Mercy be upon us all so that His light might shine through us.

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