How can I be merciful without forgiving?


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My reflection for today:  How can I be merciful without forgiving?

John 8:1-11
Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

This is not a trick or rhetorical question. Lord, I am certainly not free of sin, in fact,  I sin daily. Try as I do to renew myself and avoid sinning, but yes I am a sinner. I am obviously thankful for Your forgiveness. You dispense it mercifully, freely and unconditionally once I have shown You that I am sincerely contrite for my sins.

You don’t even pass judgment on me or my sins, nor require me to change my ways. You simply forgive me again and again. Why do You always forgive me this way? Is it because You love me absolutely? Is that what You want me to do as well? To love absolutely?

Are You calling me out, and asking me to similarly love my fellow human beings absolutely, and in this way You as well, by forgiving each and every one of my fellow human beings for whatever they might do from time to time to upset me or to hurt me?

This is  a tall order, my Lord and my God, and I will try my best every day to satisfy You. Why? Because it’s the only way I have to love You back absolutely as You love me, and because I am mindful that, as taught daily by Jesus the Christ, “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy”.

Help me please because, as You know, I am a work – in – progress. 

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