Mercy, Mercy, Mercy ( Canticle of Zachariah reflection 3/6 )

“He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant”.


This portion of the canticle speaks to the listener of the time of  a covenant, but he never exactly says what that covenant is or what it means ?   THat is because the Jews would know exactly the covenant he was speaking of .  THis was the Davidic covenant.  The promise GOd made with David that the Savior , the messiah would be from his house or his lineage.  He could not have been speaking of John since Elizabeth from from the house of Aaron.


THis portion of the canticle speaks of the idea of covenant.  A covenant is more than just a promise, it is deeper, more abiding vow that is everlasting through its fulfillment.  One of the best examples we have on earth to this type of covenant is that of a Godly marriage.  It is that deep abiding , everlasting connection , relationship and vow.  God makes a covenant with David and fulfills his covenant with Jesus.  This was exciting  and gave the world reason to rejoice.  These visitations, that of Zachariah, and then of Mary , were reasons to rejoice and the visitation was from Gabriel the Angel direct from Gods throne room was confirmation of faith for Zachariah.    Zachariah was a Godly man, and he like all Jews were sitting and waiting for the coming of the Messiah.  There had been no interaction with his people and God for some time and then within this 5 month period there were 2 visitations by Gabriel proclaiming the coming of the Lord.


How often is it that we feel our struggles in daily life ?  They weigh in on us and may cause us to ask God where he is in all of this.  To make us feel like we are somehow alone in the dessert of our daily lives without any intervention or direction from God.  It might cause you to feel weary or full of despair.   Once the prayers are answered, or the situation passes it is easy to see where God was at work.


The  second part of this section deals with mercy.  THe bible is replete with examples of mercy but basically mercy comes in one of two varieties.  First, The mercy God shows to us , and then mercy of God we show to others.  You could say the second type of charity is the mercy we show to others, but this would be wrong. in the sense that the seeds of mercy come from God,  and since man has free will there is a choice to be made. That is made to show mercy to our brother and sisters or not.  The idea of , and the capacity for mercy comes from God, and is one of the spiritual fruits of charity and love.  The corporal works of mercy , feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners, caring for the sick, etc are acts of charity towards our brothers and sisters.  A well formed conscience knows that those acts and decisions are oriented towards God.  Mercy begins with God, and through man’s free will, finds its channel to others.

Through Seeing others in acts of mercy, much like the process of praying for our enemies, the person of faith who seeks to do God;s will though acts of mercy also finds that what begins as giving of ones self becomes a channel not only of love but also becomes a spiritual formation or education not only for the one who receives mercy, but for the one who extends Gods mercy and love.


God’s  greatest act of Mercy towards mankind as that of Jesus Christ.  The Life death and resurrection of Jesus perfect in his act of love and  mercy for mankind.  The interesting part of this is that , much like the mercy of God we show others is that in His human nature Jesus made the decision to follow the will of the father, to be the channel of God’s love for us.    Giving us yet another example of how to live.


The mercy her showed us in this paschal mystery, is now extended to us in the Eucharist.  In his love and mercy he comes to us in such a small form.  Our Lord, King of the universe humbles himself each and every day to be present in the smallest of tabernacles in his great mercy and love for us.


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