Read: Matthew 5:7; 25:37-40
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (5:7)
A friend of mine goes to an area campground during the summer. There he met a couple whom we will call Joe and Mary. Mary has been a foster mom for a long time. One little boy they had fostered was a special needs child who was born with alcohol and nicotine addiction. Mary and Joe feared he would be passed along to endless foster homes. So they adopted him. At the time, Joe was 70 and Mary was 62 years old. They took a big step. Now four, their son has speech difficulties and weighs just 25 pounds, but he thrives in his parents’ care.
In teaching us the beatitude of mercy, Jesus is not urging us to act mercifully in order to earn God’s mercy. Showing mercy is simply acting as God does. God’s true children imitate their heavenly Father. They do so without self-consciousness or self-congratulation. For Joe and Mary, there’s no looking back. Helping others is their lifestyle. Mary also helps at homeless shelters. As people vacate each morning, she tells them, “If you get food during the day that would taste better warmed up, just come and warm it in our microwave under our fifth wheel camper.”
Mary says she has difficulty putting God’s love into words. Not to worry. Scripture urges, “Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love” (1 John 3:18 Message). Mary does that. Jesus declares her blessed. Jesus calls us to put our love into action too and be blessed. —Chic Broersma
Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to needs around me.