God's Mercy Transforms Us
What Do You Seek?
St. John’s Gospel describes the moment as Jesus was walking by the River Jordan and John the Baptist identified Him as the “Lamb of God”. After hearing this proclamation, two of John the Baptists disciples started walking after Jesus. He turned and asked, “What do you seek?” They wanted to see where He was staying, so Christ’s replied, “Come and you will see”. (John 1:38-39)
When Dominicans are received into the Order, during their Profession, the first question they are asked is, “What do you Seek?”. The reply is, “God’s Mercy and yours”. The Order wants to be confident that every Dominican truly believes in God’s mercy.
Preachers of the Truth
Every Dominican priest has the letters “O.P.” after their name, which means “Order of Preachers”. Dominicans are called to be Preachers of the Truth. For their preaching to be effective, we must search for the truth but it is God’s mercy which leads us to the truth. It is mercy that helps us to understand the teachings of Jesus and experience His love.As Dominicans, we place our lives at the mercy of God. We allow God’s mercy to form, lead and guide us. Mercy enables us to see the love of God and how we can be transformed by it. Mercy helps us to understand God’s love and how this love can be reflected, through us, when we show mercy to those we meet.
Everyday life transformed by God’s Mercy
Mercy is a fundamental part of Christian life. By understanding mercy, we are able to better understand the passionate love of Christ for each of us, even though we are sinners. Through mercy, we can see the teachings of Christ in a clearer way and become aware of the truth and see the way forward.
It is mercy that leads you to the truth. It helps us to see beyond the barriers that come between us and the love and mercy of Christ. Christ reveals the mercy of God to us. We allow Christ to manifest Himself to others, through us, when we are merciful.
Mercy Changes Us
Those who are devoted to Divine Mercy reflect on God’s Mercy and the role of His mercy in their life. With time, we come to realise what mercy does to us and for us. Mercy changes us and reforms us. It helps us to judge others in a different light, with forgiveness, tolerance and compassion. It helps us to see the mercy of God coming to us, through them. Before God, we are nothing. It is only through God’s mercy that we are who we are and have what we have.
St. Thomas Aquinas Explains God’s Mercy
Dominican teaching always acknowledges the importance of God’s mercy. One great Dominican theologian was St. Thomas Aquinas. He often spoke about the mercy of God and how we need His mercy to live our lives. He saw mercy as the greatest attribute of God. He affirmed, “God is never self-seeking, but acts only and always with selfless generosity, pouring out good gifts out of His abundance on His creatures. Showing mercy is therefore proper to God, in a special way, for it manifests His infinite perfection, and His infinite abundance and generosity”.
For St. Thomas, God’s mercy is in excess and above what we need. God’s mercy is bestowed on us in abundance. He further stated that “God acts mercifully...but by doing something more than justice; thus a man who pays another two hundred pieces of money, though owing him only one hundred, does nothing against justice, but acts liberally and mercifully. The case is the same with one who pardons an offence committed against him, for in remitting it, he may be said to bestow a gift”.
‘I seek God’s Mercy!’
As a Dominican, I remind myself every day what I asked for when I joined the Dominicans, namely “God’s Mercy”. St Faustina encouraged the people to pray every day for God’s mercy. It is the one thing we should all seek. Through God’s mercy, we will be saved and we can find peace and joy here on earth also.