Alleluia: Be Mercy

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2022

Today’s Readings

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings take us on a centuries-long journey from Sinai nearly to the foot of Calvary. 

Our guideline for the pilgrimage is the Word:

  • given first to Moses
  • cherished in Psalms
  • and finally revealed in the full glory of the Incarnated Christ.

Throughout the ages, each of us receives the same direction to holiness as that given by Moses thousands of years ago:

If only you would
heed the voice of the LORD, your God…

The young man in today’s Gospel requests such direction straight from the mouth of Jesus. And he receives it in the form of an iconic story which holds in simplicity all the ponderous theology of the ages:

Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

With this story, Jesus translates into action that age-old Biblical Word:

  • Hear Mercy
  • Love Mercy
  • Do Mercy
  • Become Mercy

Poetry: Ramadan –  Erik K. Taylor

It was the month of Ramadan, 
the month when Muslims fast. 
From the day’s first light, 
when they could tell a white thread from a black one, 
until evening hid the difference again, 
they did not eat, did not drink, and 
– here in rural Liberia – 
did not even swallow their own spit.

We were three thousand miles from home 
when the telegram came. 
My mother’s father had died. 

From Gbapa, three miles away, 
five dark-skinned Mandingo men 
came walking to our house. 
Students from her English class, 
a class in a building with mud-brick walls 
and a tin roof that pinged in the rain. 
She drove to them several nights each week, 
teaching them to write “hut” and “mat” and “cat,” 
drawing little pictures beside the words. 

But this day, they came to her, 
walking over dusty, rust-colored roads, 
under the African sun. 
They came to sit with her, 
to offer what comfort they could.

We could not offer them water or coke or tea. 
For a few hours they sat, talking in soft voices, 
stepping out occasionally to spit. 
Then home again… 
waiting for black and white to merge back into one.

Someone once asked Jesus 
what it meant to love our neighbor. 
He said it was to be those men.

Music: Kyrie ( Lord, have Mercy) – Robert Gass

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s