THE WEEK OF TRINITY IV – MONDAY

LESSON: PSALM 89:1-4

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Exodus 34:6

Where mercy is not practiced, there is no Christian faith. If your heart is established in faith, so that you know and realize how merciful and good God has proved Himself to be as far as you are concerned, without any merit on your part and absolutely for nothing on His part, when you were still His enemy and a child of eternal damnation—if you really believe all this, you have no other alternative at all but to manifest a similar spirit towards your neighbor. And you do all this out of love for God and for the benefit of your neighbor.

Take care, then, that you make no distinction between friend and foe, between worthy and unworthy. All who have experienced God’s mercy deserved anything but mercy. This will be the case also when we show mercy to others. This is what our Lord Himself wanted to emphasize for us when He said, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish” (Luke 6:35).

Mercy will be a constant fruit of true Christian faith.

SL 11:1275 (12)

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, Your mercy and compassion were always freely extended to all who had gone astray. Inflame our hearts with the fire of Your love, that we also may extend our mercy and compassion to all our fellowmen, whether friend or foe. In Your name we ask it. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:97-110.