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March 19th, 2012by Bill Tonnis

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:36-37

Have you noticed the lack of mercy in the world?

It’s apparent that many are not aspiring to live by Jesus’ words. Just look at the latest news or political campaigns.

Jesus tells us that there is a kind of divine “what goes around comes around.” It seems to be a sacred pattern sewn into the fabric of life. A good act has eternal reverberations which will return to you. We are to mirror God’s mercy…since after all…we are made in God’s image. God is totally merciful…loving even when love is not returned. We are called to mirror this mercy to the world…to love and forgive instead of judging and condemning.

This is impossible as long as our egos are in charge. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert to deal head-on with all the ego enticements of power, possessions, and prestige. When He returned He was ready to live His life mirroring the love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion of God to others.

Lent is a good time for an “ego-ectomy.” (Have you ever heard that “ego” stands for “edge God out”?) It’s a time to repent or change the direction we are looking for happiness…away from our egos and toward God. That’s why Lent is such a good time to go into the desert with Jesus, carve out some quiet time, and allow the Holy Spirit to show us where our egos…need to go…so we can better reflect the glory of God.

Bill Tonnis

Bill Tonnis is the Director of Youth & Outreach Ministries at Our Lady of the Visitation Parish. He is single and a parishioner at St. Monica St. George Parish in Clifton.