Pope Francis’ first reference to the psalter is 103:3-4. Clearly, he understands that God’s mercy is comprehensive, extending into forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and honoring. The psalmist proclaims a 360° involvement of God in our lives.
Life is completely different when we recognize that God is everywhere, involved in every aspect of our lives. We don’t have to wait for Sunday. We do not have to get in a religious frame of mind. We ceratainly do not have “clean ourselves up” in order for God to deal with us. God is here. God is now.
Religion is never farther from mercy than when it establishes human-made conditions which others must meet prior to the infusion of grace. There is nothing we could do to make God love us less. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. We are God’s beloved here and now!
Mercy is never deferred. Mercy is never conditioned by any prior requirement. Mercy us not limited to one aspect if life. Mercy is the comprehensive and current reality–the present and pervasive disposition of God toward everyone.
Mercy is the restoring balm, not our actions in relation to religious pre-requisites. God always makes the first move, and it is the move of mercy. God intends that it be our first move toward others as well.