"‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’”
Repeat Jesus’ words throughout the day: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” As you do so, be sure to pause for emphasis when you come to the two words in the middle line. “…just as…” These two words—as small as they are—remind us of something central to Lent, and to being a Christian.
God does not ask us to be merciful according to our own personal time-tables, or to the degree that we feel like being merciful, or towards those whom we’re ready to show mercy. God asks us… now, to all who need mercy, to show mercy without measure. This is how the Father shows mercy.
We hear a plea for the Father’s mercy in today’s Responsorial Psalm, the refrain of which is: “Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins” [based on Psalm 103:10]. We give thanks during Lent that God the Father—through His Son—has not dealt with us according to our sins. We ask the Lord during Lent to open our hearts to the Gift of Jesus’ Cross.
We see the Father’s mercy in the person of Jesus. On the Cross, we see how merciful God the Father is. And so we beg God, through His grace, to help us be towards others… just as merciful as Our Father.