On Saturday, February 27, 2016, about 30 participants gathered for a Lenten Retreat led by Sister Pauline Micke and Father Steve Ulrich. This year is set aside by Pope Francis as a Year of Mercy for the whole world. Sister and Father led us in reflecting on God’s faithful relationship with us, the One who shows us mercy before justice.
We meditated on each of the readings for the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays in Lent. On the 3rd Sunday we hear how God names himself to Moses and brings us all into the mystery of Holy Ground. On the 4th we listen to the story of the progigal son who returns to his father in humiliation, and whom the father forgives unasked. On the 5th Sunday we hear of the woman caught in adultery, deeply ashamed and terrified before her accusers, to whom Jesus shows forgiveness rather than judgment.
Together we meditated on the writings of Father Richard Rohr OSF on mercy, and how difficult it is for humans to accept God’s view of it. We find it more satisfying to see justice delivered to the guity — until, of course, we ourselves are the ones needing mercy. Even then, we would rather punish ourselves that accept forgiveness from God. You can read Fr. Rohr’s meditation here.