Happy are the Merciful – April 23, 2021

How do we respond when someone wrongs us, inconveniences us, or sins against us? Some hold to the old saying, “I don’t get mad, I just get even.” Others simmer until the final straw pushes them to explosion. Some begin to complain about the individual and slander them to others. Some demand their rights be honored. Some loudly and colorfully inform the individual of their crime. Few are inclined to show mercy.

Yet, we learn in the next Beatitude that it is the merciful that are happy, for they find mercy themselves. Christ stated, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matt. 5:7). The principle seems to be twofold. First, when you love to show mercy to others, others will show mercy to you. Second, when you show mercy to others, you demonstrate the mercy that God has and will show towards you. Whenever we come across people who are unhappy with life, it is inevitably true that they do not show mercy towards others. Instead, they stew in the bitterness of their “unjust” treatment. Further, it reveals that they do not truly understand the mercy of God.

We are reminded of the parable of the unforgiving servant. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart” (Matt. 18:23-35). We have mercy on others because God has shown incredible mercy to us. And when we show mercy to others, we find true joy and contentment. Happy are the merciful.