Seeds of the Word - What does Scripture tell us about God’s mercy?

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Knowing the many expressions of God’s mercy helps us to appreciate its never-ending richness

There is no limit to God’s mercy. It’s necessary to know all of its expressions in order to fully grasp it. Let’s begin by seeing what God has revealed about his divine mercy through Sacred Scriptures.

We may find at least 20 references to God’s mercy in the Holy Bible:

“So the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but bringing punishment for their parents’ wickedness on children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation!” (Exodus 34:6-7)

“You are righteous, Lord, and all your deeds are just; all your ways are mercy and fidelity; you are judge of the world.” (Tobit 3:2)

“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth toward those who honor his covenant and decrees.” (Psalm 25:10)

“Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:3)

“But I will not take my mercy from him, nor will I betray my bond of faithfulness.” (Psalm 89:34)

“Praise the LORD, for he is good; for his mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)

“Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shaped the beginning of humankind and brought about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.” (2 Maccabees 7:23)

“But you, our God, are good and true, slow to anger, and governing all with mercy.” (Wisdom 15:1)

“Do not say, ‘His mercy is great; my many sins he will forgive.’ For mercy and anger alike are with him; his wrath comes to rest on the wicked.” (Sirach 5:6)

“Great as his mercy is his punishment; he judges people, each according to their deeds.” (Sirach 16:12)

“The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; they are renewed each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

“I have put my hope for your deliverance in the Eternal One, and joy has come to me from the Holy One because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you from your eternal Savior.” (Baruch 4:22)

“Give ear, my God, and listen; open your eyes and look upon our desolate city upon which your name is invoked. When we present our petition before you, we rely not on our just deeds, but on your great mercy.” (Daniel 9:18)

“It is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)

“You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

“Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

“But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13)

“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.” (Colossians 3:12-13)

Review each verse every day, and find the one that resonates deep in your heart. Repeat to yourself its words several times throughout the day. Do this exercise daily throughout the Jubilee of Mercy and you will learn to be merciful, just as our Father in heaven is merciful.

Be passionate about our faith!

Read the Spanish version of this “Semillas de la Palabra” column from the April 2016 issue of NORTHWEST CATHOLIC.

Mauricio I. Pérez, a member of St. Monica Parish on Mercer Island, is a Catholic journalist. His website is