Commentary on the Gospel of
you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
and observe your commandments! (Daniel 9:4)
My position at Creighton University is the Coordinator of Marriage Preparation. One of the things I love about my job is working with engaged couples as they talk through the dynamics of their relationship before they get married. At times I have been so amazed by a couple’s ability to give “with good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing.” I have seen couples give each other the benefit of the doubt over and over again. I have witnessed couples talk about difficult things in their relationship and come to the conclusion that they love each other enough to accept the difficulties in stride. These couples so often let go of the judging, condemning, and selfishness that they know will implode their loving relationship. Witnessing this kind of love gives me a glimpse into the kind of love, compassion and forgiveness that God has for us. This is the merciful covenant.
The gospel from Luke gives us a blueprint for experiencing loving and generous relationships with others. This is also the kind of relationship God wants with us and for us—no condemnation or judging—but mercy and compassion. We are promised a covenantal relationship with God and can only fully experience it when we get out of our own selfish way. God is love and God is overwhelmingly generous.
“But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!” Daniel 9:9