THE WEEK OF TRINITY IV – SUNDAY

LESSON: LUKE 6:36-42

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36

Jesus is not speaking here of the kind of mercy that human reason commends and suggests to us. This is a mercy which is selfish and self-seeking, which gives to those who are important and learned, to those who have earned it and merited it, to those whom it loves or who are beautiful, to those from whom it can expect some benefit or advantage. For if I give to him who has earned it, or if I consider beauty or friendship, I am only performing a duty or paying a debt and not carrying out an act of mercy at all.

This is what the Lord meant when He said in the section immediately preceding this Gospel, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again” (Luke 6:32-34).

The mercy of Christians does not seek its own advantage or repayment of any kind. It must always be extended in all directions. We must open our eyes and keep them fixed on all men alike, on friend and foe, and be merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful.

SL 11:1274 (11)

PRAYERS: Your steadfast love, O Lord, never ceases, and your mercy towards us knows no ending; it is new every morning and accompanies us in the night seasons. Grant us grace to follow and practice a similar mercy towards our fellowmen, for your name’s sake. 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.