Driving home tonight from my fifth mass of the day, for whatever reason my mind wandered to my policy for make-up work. If I give an assignment that is tough or complicated, there will always be some kids who can’t quite follow the rubric the first time around. If they are willing to give it another shot, I am happy to dump their first grade and give them the second grade – no averaging, no deductions.
So of course, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, my thoughts turned to God’s mercy (not mine – my pedagogical style is rarely described as merciful). Maybe that’s what God’s mercy is like: always waiting with the red pen to write encouragement in the margins, always ready to delete the first feeble attempts from the gradebook. Mercy allows us to be defined by the best we can do, and mercy always waits for us to come around, to follow guidance, and to try again. In the merciful eyes of God we are capable and good, and God is always eager for us to manifest our goodness.
All the wickedness in this world that man might work or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal in the sea. —William Langland