March 1, 2021 – Monday in the Second Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/030121.cfm)
Prophet Daniel as revealed in our first reading today, expressed his intercession on behalf of the people who had been exiled in a foreign land. The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem also brought people to be dispersed and many of them became slaves. When the Temple was destroyed, people felt that God abandoned them since the Temple was an assurance of God’s presence.
However, instead of blaming God for abandoning them and letting that terrible event in their life to happen, Daniel, being shamefaced, realized their unfaithfulness towards their covenant with God. Daniel who prayed on behalf of the people recognized how they have turned their eyes blind and ears deaf towards the prophets whom God sent to their leaders. The leaders and the people continued to break their covenant with God by oppressing the weak among them and worshipping other gods. It was them who actually distanced from God.
With this recognition of their failures, unfaithfulness and sins, Daniel also saw how God remained faithful to them despite everything. God remains merciful.
This is the invitation that Jesus also spoke to his disciples in today’s Gospel, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Mercy, as Pope Francis said, is the name of God. God is mercy and it is God’s identity card.
In this Season of Lent, may we always realize God’s mercy upon us that despite our own unfaithfulness and sins, God remains for us, because God is Mercy. This invites us now to become merciful, to express that mercy in the way we relate with one another and in the way we live our very life.
Mercy shall give us freedom from shame, and life from the death caused by our sins. Let mercy be the very measure to be returned to us. Hinaut pa.