Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“All you have done to us, you have done by a proper judgment, O Lord, for we have sinned and transgressed Your commandments we have not heeded or observed. But bring glory to your name, and deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.” (Daniel 3: 31, 29, 30, 43, 42)

Today’s entrance antiphon has a unique selection and ordering of verses from the prophet Daniel. The way the Church prays these particular verses reveal a great truth, namely there is a great unity between God’s justice and His mercy. There is a unity between God’s compassion and His glory. Because it is by mercy that God shows most fully His justice and power, we have hope. We also have a call. Throughout this year of mercy the priest has had the option to end the Mass with the words, “Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful, go in peace…” In order to keep our spiritual eyes fixed on this mercy, we need to work on training and nurturing our spiritual sight. In today’s readings we have a warning about blinding ourselves to the needs of others, to the opportunities to show mercy. First those addressed by Isaiah, then the rich man who ignores Lazarus, are rebuked for not attending to God’s call to show compassion to those in need. Why?

This omission of mercy is a dangerous sin of omission because it violates of the greatest commandment: love God and love your neighbor. St. John reminds us that we cannot say without hypocrisy that we love the God whom we do not see if we do not love the brother who we do see. (1 Jn 4:20) How can our eyes be open to the mercy that God wants to pour out upon us, if we have closed our eyes to those whom we are called to serve with compassion? This week let us ask God for a recovery and a strengthening of our spiritual sight, so that we might live well the last part of this year of mercy.

September 25th, 2016