Day 36–Holy Thursday

    It was a poignant Holy Thursday, watching the pope celebrate the beginning of the Triduum from an almost-empty St. Peter’s Basilica. His voice shook, he seemed frail and aged, almost like he has had a stroke. His message was powerful to me. After speaking about priests nobly serving the sick and dying during this epidemic, he said, “They are noble, but they are sinners. And bishops are sinners. And the pope is a sinner.” He spoke about how we are all sinners, and in need of great mercy.
   He continued with the reminder of Christ’s words, that we will be forgiven by God in the measure we forgive others. The more we forgive our offenders, the more God will have mercy on us. This message got my mind going on how badly most of us feel for ourselves when we get hurt. But in the Christian faith, such moments are opportunities. They are opportunities to lavish someone else with unmerited, undeserved kindness. They are opportunities to love our enemies–not just put up with them, but love them.
   I am praying for God’s help to become a Christian, the real kind that sees hurts, no matter how egregious, no matter how unthoughtful, unwarranted, disgusting, unprecedented, undeserved, unimaginable, or intolerable as welcomed chances to BE MERCY.
    As Aquinas says, mercy is God’s signature.