Theological Imaginings: Mercying
Mary Sullivan rsm (Americas)
We in the Mercy Family may now have reached one of the most demanding moments in our history. In trying to enflesh the persistent Gospel call to be a Mercy Global Presence, we now face the hard questions of the further personal and social conversion to which we and all humanity are summoned.
We use the noun, “mercy,” so much to describe our life and mission that we may have softened its meaning and treated this mercifulness as an already acquired and comfortable response to the world and its people. Perhaps we need to refresh our hearing of the full range of this Gospel call and reinvigorate our dedication to what Jesus constantly asks of us, by more often using the verb, “mercy.”
To mercy another, to engage in mercying, to mercify is to act and advocate, to heal and protest, to accompany and clear the way, to do the works of mercy in the field hospitals of the world and work to eliminate the need for some of these field hospitals. It is to succor the crucified peoples and call humanity away from its crucifying structures and practices. It is to become for and with others the active hands and voice of God’s own Mercying.
We in the Mercy Family are asked to become humble, minor actors in the transforming mission of Jesus the Christ. We are called to be those who watch what Jesus is doing, learn from and resemble him, and then join him under the yoke.
We are to be the mat carriers of the paralyzed, the coffin bearers in Nain, the arms on which the lame lean, those who listen to the mute and cry out for wider human listening, those who eat with and try to influence the tax collectors. We are to be the fathers and mothers of the epileptics, the hands assisting the blind, the voices that encourage lepers to come forward, the boy who brings and shares his two fish, the Simons of Cyrene, the centurions who offer sponges soaked in wine...
Spanish translation by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Traducción al español por las Hermanas de la Misericordia de las Américas
Mary C. Sullivan rsm is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
"In recent years, our Merciful God has given me time to do what I'm asked to do: respond to requests for information and clarification, and write articles and talks on Mercy topics and the climate crisis. These days, like the young boy in John's gospel (6:9), all of us in the Mercy family are trying to expand our understanding of "We," as Pope Francis asks, and then give our few barley loaves and two small fish that God may feed the worldwide Mercy global presence of all humanity."
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