After learning about the horrific act that took place in Virginia today, my heart cannot help but break for the families and people involved in this tragedy. My heart breaks for the sorrow that they will face. My hearts breaks for people who witnessed what happened. But, mainly, my heart breaks because of the fact that things like this happen because we are fallen. The cause of our hurt, our pain, our struggles, and our ultimate physical death is all because of sin. Sin is ugly. Sin is what happened today. Sin is what we choose, what we omit, even what we do without thinking or thinking it's wrong. Sin is real. And the greatest trick Satan can pull on us is to make us think that sin is relative, that God's justice is slight, and that there are no consequences for our actions - temporally or eternally.
Yet our Savior chose to embrace this ugly face of sin by bearing it's full weight both physically and mentally.
The scars on Jesus' body are because of my sin. His drops of blood in the Garden on the night before his death are because of the sins he was thinking of that I would commit against him.
And even though sin caused Jesus to cry "My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?" there is an answer: Mercy. Divine Mercy.
Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday. A holy day to remind us of the only thing that will gain us eternal life. Mercy is God withholding something that we deserve, just as grace is God giving us something we do not deserve. We deserve Hell but God grants us Heaven - IF we accept it and conform our lives to His. We gain God's mercy by being merciful. We gain it by asking for forgiveness with a contrite heart - a heart willing to change. We gain mercy through the Sacrament of Confession. We gain mercy through allowing God to change our lives.
My kiddos and I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet today in class. I truly hope they understand how much we need God's mercy. When I asked my class "why should you say the prayers on the rosary beads over and over?" one boy responded, "because there are many people who do not pray for God's mercy and we need to pray for them." They prayed for me and for you and for all of God's people...
"For the sake of His sorrowful passion...
...have mercy on us and on the whole world."