GOD’S GRACE…AND MERCY
Mercy and Grace are often confused as having the same meaning. While both have similar meanings, they are not the same. Showing mercy to another can have a human element, such as forgiving a debt or a hurtful action. We can even be merciful to ourselves by letting go of a sin that has been confessed and forgiven. However, when considered in the spiritual realm, grace and mercy, while different, both share a much deeper meaning.
God’s grace is what allows us to respond to Him when He speaks to us. As we read in the Catholic Catechism, “God’s grace is a gift that brings us into a personal, loving relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” His grace come from the constant blessings He showers upon us, even when we don’t deserve it. His mercy comes when He withholds punishment for our sins, even when we do deserve it.
There are many examples throughout the Scriptures, in both the Old and New Testaments, of God’s mercy. His mercy always was and is now given to us in love, because our God IS love. His greatest display of love for us was in sending His Son to bear the guilt of our sins and to redeem mankind so that that we would be able to return to Him.
Today, we celebrate the feast commemorating God’s inexhaustible capacity for both Grace and Mercy. Upon appearing to Saint Maria Faustina, God entrusted her to spread His message throughout a world in dire need of His grace and mercy. Her mission is also our mission, not just today, but each and every day.