Mercy Word of the Week
The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a "Mercy Word of the Week" to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University's Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Repentance: On Ash Wednesday many who received ashes heard the words, "Repent, and believe in the gospel." This call from Jesus is far more radical than it may seem. That's because "repentance" requires real change in our lives. If we've done something wrong, "repenting" doesn't simply mean speaking the words "I'm sorry." As important as that is, and it is critically important, it is even more important to decide you won't repeat that behavior.
Repenting also means we turn from a posture of rebellion toward God to one of obedience. Obedience is not a popular word in our day that values independence and autonomy. But in the gospel, Jesus equates "love" with "obedience." And obedience to God means following his law of love whether or not we will gossip, or give generously to those in need, or invite someone we may be angry with to a family gathering.
The Greek word "metanoia," is often translated in theology as "repentance" but actually it means a change of mind, a turning around and going in a new direction. That's the opportunity Lent gives us — not just to give up something but to say to God, "I know I've been headed in the wrong direction and I'm going to spend these 40 days asking you which way you want me to go." Usually, that "wrong direction" is toward the self. May God help each of us to move toward others and toward him.