God's Mercy

03-14-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Today’s reading from the second book of Chronicles contains a sort of “mini-history” of Israel. It highlights God’s mercies in choosing Cyrus the Persian to be an instrument of deliverance when the people were in captivity in Babylon. Despite their sinfulness and the deserved punishment they were undergoing, God’s mercy was lavished on the people in the form of a miraculous act of liberation.

The Letter to the Ephesians, in much more theological terms, gives a similar account of a God “who brought us to life with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” The author stresses that it was when we were “dead in our transgressions” that God saved us, an act of pure grace. He emphasizes that it is not our own efforts that freed us from sin (“this is not from you”); rather, “it is the gift of God.” This, of course, is the heart of the entire Pauline corpus, that salvation comes to us by faith in God’s mercy, revealed in the death of Jesus.