Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 (Read)
“The Lord redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.”
Our psalmist sings the praises of a divine
and loving God, who surrounds us with
compassion, pardons our sins, heals our ills.
He nurses no lasting anger; He has not dealt
with us as our sins deserve. Our duty is
to remain faithful to the Lord, and to treat
His anointed ones with love and compassion,
as He would do.
This Sunday's Gospel teaches a powerful and
difficult lesson – We are to be merciful to our
enemies by imitating the Father. The Psalm
tells us how, by being “Merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”
Who can love their enemies, and do good to them?
It will be difficult if we allow our earthly nature
to rule us. Just as “God has not dealt with us
as our sins merit,” so must we imitate God and
have compassion on those we would typically
want to condemn.
We cannot imitate God without a share in Christ’s
divinity, and in turn being empowered by the holy
Spirit within us. Only then will we have the kind
of compassion the psalmist speaks about, “As a
father has compassion on his children, so the Lord
has compassion on the faithful.”
If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts, and
the old things will then pass away. The Psalm says
it well: “As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us.”
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our Psalm speaks of a loving and compassionate God,
who does not deal with us according to our sins. Are you able
to treat those who have harmed you in the same way? Explain.
2. The verses of the Psalm remind us of the power of the
Sacrament of Reconciliation, "As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us." Relate how the
Sacrament works for you to put your sins behind you.