Friday, January 31, 2014

Miserando atque Eligendo!

Because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him!

Dear Friends,

The  Latin phrase is from the coat-of-arms of a pope who has captured the attention and admiration of so many people of our times, Pope Francis.  Reading the account of King David's dalliance with Bathsheba, the Pope's motto came to mind.  These words come from a sermon delivered by 18th century writer, the Englishman, Saint Bede.   This holy man used these words to describe Jesus' encounter with one of the tax collectors of the town, another man who became a saint, Matthew.

As most of us who hear confessions know, sin sometimes becomes a heavy weight in the heart and soul of the sinner.  Perhaps this is the experience Bede confronted in his dealings with a sinner.  Regardless of the actual event, "miserando atque eligendo" are three powerful words that remind us that our God is not only a merciful dispenser of forgiveness but one who sees deeply into the hearts of sinners and knows the potential implanted in each human being.

Despite his immoral behavior David possessed a sincere desire for a true reconciliation with Yahweh,   Likewise Matthew, apparently a tax collector no different from the others of his profession, moved to an awareness of his " professional" sins, was filled with an awareness of Yahweh's mercy.  Likewise God chose him for work that would bring many from sinfulness to living the life of Jesus.

If you ever become burdened by sin, remember "miserando atque eligendo."  When God created you, he entrusted much to you.  We certainly will not be a king or a queen.  But we can be the recipient of the remarkable and peace-filled gift of forgiveness and lead others to know a loving and caring God.

God be with you and let us prayer for on another.

Fr.  Milt