Jesus begun his messianic mission by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk4:18-19) It was a declaration of his messianic mission which is followed by Jesus’ teachings and actions of Mercy. When the messengers of John the Baptist came to Jesus to ask Him: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” He answered by referring to the same testimony with which He had begun His teaching at Nazareth: “Go and tell John what it is that you have seen and heard: the blind receives their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.”(Mt:2-6)
Mercy; as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus, is not an abstract concept or a feeling but a mission and which calls for action. Jesus after telling the parable of Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) told the lawyer who had approached him with the question of mercy: “go and do likewise.” Pope Francis reflecting on this parable once said, that there are many in the world who just pass by other’s pain and difficulties like the Levite and priest of the parable. There are many others who don’t do enough. They prefer to intellectualize, and theorize. Jesus presented the good Samaritan as model of mercy because he not only saw the wounded man in the road and ‘felt’ compassion for him, but he ‘acted’. He went near to the wounded, touched the wound, and cared for the wounded. He also payed the two denaries and finally giving a guarantee for whatever else could be spent.
The messianic program that Christ declared in the synagogue at Nazareth was to reveal the merciful love of God for the poor and the suffering. Christ’s messianic program, the program of mercy, becomes the program of His people, the program of the Church. In a special way as Vincentians, Mercy is our mission. St. Vincent asks us his followers, a very decisive question, “ is there anything more happier on this earth than to live as Christ lived and do what Christ came to do?”
About the Author:
Fr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was born in Kerala, South India in 1979 and had his formation and studies to the priesthood in India. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after was sent to Tanzania in 2009. In Tanzania after a few months of studying the local language, he was appointed to a Parish as an assistant parish priest. In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania, where he still is today. This Congregation began in 1960 by German Sisters from the Province of Untermartel, which belongs to the Federation of Sisters of Charity, Strassburg. They are part of the Vincentian Family.