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Day 315 – The Virtue of Mercy


Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read about doing something radical. Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. We also hear of the story of the centurion who asks for Jesus to heal his servant. The centurion knows that he is unworthy even as others think he is worthy. We are not worthy of God’s love but we need it. God is good and he gives us what he needs. At times it is easy to forget our profound worthiness before the Lord and focus on our sinfulness and brokenness.

In baptism, God adopts us as his beloved sons and daughters and we have been raised to be greater than even John the Baptist. This is because God’s grace is within us.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Luke 6

1 It happened that one Sabbath he was walking through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them.

2 Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath day?’

3 Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry-

4 how he went into the house of God and took the loaves of the offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which the priests alone are allowed to eat?’

5 And he said to them, ‘The Son of man is master of the Sabbath.’

6 Now on another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was present, and his right hand was withered.

7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure somebody on the Sabbath, hoping to find something to charge him with.

8 But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Get up and stand out in the middle!’ And he came forward and stood there.

9 Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it permitted on the Sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’

10 Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was restored.

11 But they were furious and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

12 Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.

13 When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’:

14 Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot,

16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

17 He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples, with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon

18 who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured,

19 and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

20 Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours.

21 Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh.

22 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man.

23 Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

24 But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

25 Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep.

26 ‘Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.

27 ‘But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

29 To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.

30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it.

31 Treat others as you would like people to treat you.

32 If you love those who love you, what credit can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them.

33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit can you expect? For even sinners do that much.

34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to get money back, what credit can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.

35 Instead, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

36 ‘Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.

37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38 Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.’

39 He also told them a parable, ‘Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?

40 Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher.

41 Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own?

42 How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out that splinter in your eye,” when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eyes.

43 ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit.

44 Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.

45 Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.

46 ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?

47 ‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them — I will show you what such a person is like.

48 Such a person is like the man who, when he built a house, dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built.

49 But someone who listens and does nothing is like the man who built a house on soil, with no foundations; as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

Luke 7

1 When he had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum.

2 A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death.

3 Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant.

4 When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him saying, ‘He deserves this of you,

5 because he is well disposed towards our people; he built us our synagogue himself.’

6 So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends to say to him, ‘Sir, do not put yourself to any trouble because I am not worthy to have you under my roof;

7 and that is why I did not presume to come to you myself; let my boy be cured by your giving the word.

8 For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man, “Go,” and he goes; to another, “Come here,” and he comes; to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’

9 When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith as great as this.’

10 And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people.

12 Now when he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople was with her.

13 When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’

14 Then he went up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you: get up.’

15 And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

16 Everyone was filled with awe and glorified God saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people.’

17 And this view of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

18 The disciples of John gave him all this news, and John, summoning two of his disciples,

19 sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?’

20 When the men reached Jesus they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or are we to expect someone else?” ‘

21 At that very time he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and of evil spirits, and gave the gift of sight to many who were blind.

22 Then he gave the messengers their answer, ‘Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the good news is proclaimed to the poor;

23 and blessed is anyone who does not find me a cause of falling.’

24 When John’s messengers had gone he began to talk to the people about John,

25 ‘What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No! Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who go in magnificent clothes and live luxuriously are to be found at royal courts!

26 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet:

27 he is the one of whom scripture says: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.

28 ‘I tell you, of all the children born to women, there is no one greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’

29 All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God’s saving justice by accepting baptism from John;

30 but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers thwarted God’s plan for them.

31 ‘What comparison, then, can I find for the people of this generation? What are they like?

32 They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market place: We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry.

33 ‘For John the Baptist has come, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.”

34 The Son of man has come, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.’

36 One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table,

37 suddenly a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment.

38 She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of person it is who is touching him and what a bad name she has.’

40 Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ He replied, ‘Say on, Master.’

41 ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty.

42 They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?’

43 Simon answered, ‘The one who was let off more, I suppose.’ Jesus said, ‘You are right.’

44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair.

45 You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in.

46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

47 For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.’

48 Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’

49 Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that even forgives sins?’

50 But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Luke 8

1 Now it happened that after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve,

2 as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,

3 Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.

4 With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, he told this parable:

5 ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up.

6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture.

7 Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.

8 And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!’

9 His disciples asked him what this parable might mean,

10 and he said, ‘To you is granted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God; for the rest it remains in parables, so that they may look but not perceive, listen but not understand.

11 ‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God.

12 Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved.

13 Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up.

14 As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and never produce any crops.

15 As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.

16 ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, it is put on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

17 For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be made known and brought to light.

18 So take care how you listen; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he thinks he has.’

19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd.

20 He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’

21 But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

22 It happened that one day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ So they set out,

23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. When a squall of wind came down on the lake the boat started shipping water and they found themselves in danger.

24 So they went to rouse him saying, ‘Master! Master! We are lost!’ Then he woke up and rebuked the wind and the rough water; and they subsided and it was calm again.

25 He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were awestruck and astounded and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that gives orders even to winds and waves and they obey him?’

26 They came to land in the territory of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27 He was stepping ashore when a man from the city who was possessed by devils came towards him; for a long time the man had been living with no clothes on, not in a house, but in the tombs.

28 Catching sight of Jesus he gave a shout, fell at his feet and cried out at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I implore you, do not torture me.’

29 For Jesus had been telling the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It had seized on him a great many times, and then they used to secure him with chains and fetters to restrain him, but he would always break the fastenings, and the devil would drive him out into the wilds.

30 Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Legion’ — because many devils had gone into him.

31 And these begged him not to order them to depart into the Abyss.

32 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding there on the mountain, and the devils begged him to let them go into these. So he gave them leave.

33 The devils came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd charged down the cliff into the lake and was drowned.

34 When the swineherds saw what had happened they ran off and told their story in the city and in the country round about;

35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they found the man from whom the devils had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, wearing clothes and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

36 Those who had witnessed it told them how the man who had been possessed came to be saved.

37 The entire population of the Gerasene territory was in great fear and asked Jesus to leave them. So he got into the boat and went back.

38 The man from whom the devils had gone out asked to be allowed to stay with him, but he sent him away saying,

39 ‘Go back home and report all that God has done for you.’ So the man went off and proclaimed throughout the city all that Jesus had done for him.

40 On his return Jesus was welcomed by the crowd, for they were all there waiting for him.

41 And suddenly there came a man named Jairus, who was president of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with him to come to his house,

42 because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, who was dying. And the crowds were almost stifling Jesus as he went.

43 Now there was a woman suffering from a haemorrhage for the past twelve years, whom no one had been able to cure.

44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak; and the haemorrhage stopped at that very moment.

45 Jesus said, ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, it is the crowds round you, pushing.’

46 But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched me. I felt that power had gone out from me.’

47 Seeing herself discovered, the woman came forward trembling, and falling at his feet explained in front of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been cured at that very moment.

48 ‘My daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

49 While he was still speaking, someone arrived from the house of the president of the synagogue to say, ‘Your daughter has died. Do not trouble the Master any further.’

50 But Jesus heard this, and he spoke to the man, ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith and she will be saved.’

51 When he came to the house he allowed no one to go in with him except Peter and John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

52 They were all crying and mourning for her, but Jesus said, ‘Stop crying; she is not dead, but asleep.’

53 But they ridiculed him, knowing she was dead.

54 But taking her by the hand himself he spoke to her, ‘Child, get up.’

55 And her spirit returned and she got up at that very moment. Then he told them to give her something to eat.

56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Proverbs 26:1-3

1 Snow no more befits the summer, nor rain the harvest-time, than honours befit a fool.

2 As the sparrow escapes, and the swallow flies away, so the undeserved curse will never hit its mark.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and for the backs of fools, a stick.


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