March 10th, 2013: The Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” 

On Sundays, this blog will take a “break” from the normal pattern of Scripture and reflection. This year, our Sunday focus will be the Jesus Prayer. I’d encourage you to consciously pray this prayer on Sundays, as often as you feel the need. In this space each week, we’ll discuss a different truth that the prayer teaches us.

This week, let’s contemplate the phrase, “Have mercy on me.” We can learn a lot from this part of the prayer. We would only make this request to someone in power, someone that we know is greater than we are. When we recognize Jesus Christ as Lord, and as the Son of God, we recognize his power and authority over us and over our human condition. Not only do we recognize someone else as greater than we are, but we recognize that person’s power to respond to our request. We know that Christ is able to do something about our situation, and so we ask him.

We also see that we are in need of mercy. This comes from a proper realization of our own spiritual brokenness and weakness, our frailty and sin. The first Beatitude instructs us in this; Matthew 5.3 tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who recognize their own spiritual imperfection. We know that we are in need of mercy; the kind of mercy that only Jesus can provide.

When we pray this prayer, we humbly and boldly address the one who knows us and is able to help us; and, knowing that we greatly need help, we call and ask for his mercy.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” 

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