Blessed are the Merciful

This morning we see Jesus’ promise, “Blessed are the merciful, for that shall receive mercy.” Jesus’ call to mercy comes as the first of the “fruits” of the Beatitudes, following the four “roots” of poor in spirit, mourning, meek and hungry for righteousness. Mercy is a response to need, and need comes in many shapes and sizes. We are people of need surrounded by people of need. To a world in need the Pharisees responded with law and condemnation. They did so because they saw themselves as righteous men of great sacrifice. Jesus called for mercy, not sacrifice. Jesus saw a sick world in need of a doctor, not a judge. To those who truly know their own need for mercy and who have tasted the mercy of God, God gives a heart of mercy towards others.