Thought of the Day February 22, 2019 It is by mercy we are saved

By 10:09 AM

From natural birth in blood to spiritual rebirth in the waters of baptism to our entrance into eternal glory is a continual experience of God's tender, compassionate mercy.  All is mercy. God is not obliged to love us. He chooses to do so. While we are deserving his judgment because all have sinned and have fallen short of glory, God's mercy brings us through judgment to glory.

Let me tell you a story. A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in." "Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart." "That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!" "Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service." "Terrific!" says St. Peter, "that's certainly worth a point."  "One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans." "Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says. "TWO POINTS!!" the man cries, "At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!" "Come on in!

We will only know in eternal glory the blessings of mercy we have received from God in our life time. In a flash back we will see our whole life before us: our shortcomings deserving of judgment and God's mercy freely given. He does this so that we will never believe that it is by our actions that we merited eternal salvation. Our cry, Lord, have mercy, can never be empty words but must be a realization of our true condition as human beings. We are in need of God's mercy. Maybe it has best been said by St. John Chrysostom: "Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard by God must be based on God's mercy and love for us. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved." (To be continued)

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