25 Mar He Chose Mercy (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 32, Mar 25)
Read Matthew 5:2-12
Thought for the Day: Jesus calls us to live mercifully!
In the ancient story “Androcles and the Lion”, a Roman slave found himself on the run and in the forest. Miles in, he stumbled, hit a rock, and fainted. When Androcles awoke, he heard the sound of a menacing creature. Fearing certain death, he was shocked to see that this menacing sound was actually the pained whimper of a lion. Upon closer examination, Androcles saw that the lion’s paw was impaled by the blade of a trap. Pitying the lion, Androcles removed the blade and allowed the creature to go free. Some time later, Androcles was identified as a runaway slave and captured. As was the custom of the day, he was sentenced to death in the Coliseum and carried off to Rome.
On the day he was to be executed, Androcles found himself thrown into the sands of the Coliseum unable to think or hear because of the deafening crowd. Suddenly, he looked and saw a dark iron gate open. The crowd grew silent and Androcles heard the menacing roar of a lion. Fearing that his life was over, Androcles gulped and closed his eyes. However, instead of being torn apart by the lion’s jaws, Androcles found himself covered in saliva. The lion licked his face and then lay quietly at Androcles’ feet. The crowd was stunned but Androcles realized that he was reunited with his old friend from the forest!
Too often, we mistakenly think we will be happy by lording power over others and creating “gotcha” moments. We won’t be. Instead, Jesus instructs us to live mercifully. He chose mercy. While we may be in positions of power today, we never know when we ourselves will rely on mercy!
Reflect & Pray – How am I using the earthly power I have been given by God? How can I be more merciful, starting today? God, thank you for entrusting me with earthly authority. Please give me the courage to use it mercifully!