I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could list for me the verses in the New Testament that talk of the mercy of God, at least the most important. I have been re-reading the New Testament recently, collecting all the passages that talk about forgiving your enemy, until I realized that we are told to be merciful the way God is merciful, and perfect the way God is perfect in that matter. So, to understand how it is that we should forgive our enemies and love them, we should look at how God forgives and loves those who have offended against Him. But I did not collect these passages. I remember some of them - the lost sheep, the prodigal son, “Christ died for us while we were still sinners,” etc. - but I’m afraid to forget something crucial. I know I should probably read the whole New Testament again, and I intend to do so, but I’m lazy… Thanks a lot!
There are sixty one verses containing the word mercy: quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=simple&format=Long&q1=mercy&restrict=New+Testament&size=All
There are six verses containing the word merciful: quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=simple&format=Long&q1=merciful&restrict=New+Testament&size=All
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
To forgive others, to not dwell on their wickedness, no matter how black you paint their actions towards yourselves, don’t dwell on it. We are to love those who do not love us. Our salvation depends on this. We all desperately need God’s mercy. The divinely infallible way of obtaining God’s mercy is by practicing mercy towards others. That is why unkind, thoughtless, mean, inattentive, unjust, even cruel people are put into our lives, we need them. They are God’s provided means for His giving us mercy. Of those who had unjustly condemned Him to death, nailed Him to the cross, the murderers, Christ as man begged His heavenly Father to forgive them. And Christ made sure that before He died on Calvary, that He would also pardon the thief who was crucified along with the Savior. It is not only of great supernatural benefit to us to be merciful to others, that is the immediate logic of the fifth beatitude. As the Church’s commentators have pointed out, the promise, “they shall obtain mercy”, is not only mercy for ourselves. By our being merciful toward others who can be very offensive to us, that too, but also, we obtain mercy for the very ones who are offensive, who hurt us. It is not only that mercy is promised to us because we are merciful, but mercy is promised to those toward whom we show mercy. We merit mercy for them and it may well be, that our merciful forgiveness of those who have maybe cruelly betrayed us, even hated us, may be the condition that Christ attaches to giving these people His grace of merciful repentance. And that is precisely what Jesus Christ did. Surely He did not need to have His own sins forgiven. But, His mercy toward those who were so cruel toward Him, merited the mercy from His heavenly Father, for the very ones, who except for His mercy toward them, would not have obtained mercy from the heavenly Father to be saved themselves.
“Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass against Us”
This petition in the Lord’s Prayer has a condition attached to receiving the request from God. It will be granted only if we fulfill the divine demand.
Like the Prodigal Son and the Publican, we recognize that we are sinners before God. Yet, even as we confess our misery, we profess our faith in His mercy.
The sign of our forgiveness is in the sacraments of the Church.
God’s mercy penetrates our heart to the extent that we forgive those who offend us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible. We cannot love God, whom we do not see, unless we love our brother and sister whom we do see. If we refuse to pardon them, we close our hearts to the penetration of the Father’s mercy. In the confession of our sin, we open our heart to His grace. But this confession must include our readiness to forgive our offenders.
It is the only petition to which Our Lord returns in His Sermon on the Mount and goes on to explain in detail.
To live up to it is not only difficult but impossible for human beings alone. But “everything is possible to God” (Lk 18:17).
Our model of this merciful forgiveness is God our Father, revealing His mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ. His mercy toward us sinners is the pattern of our mercy to others; even as our mercy to them is a condition for God’s mercy to us.
The mercy we practice must be deeply interior. Of ourselves, we cannot erase or forget the injury another causes us. But once we offer our heart to the Holy Spirit, He changes the injury into compassion and purifies our memory by transforming the offense into intercession.
Christian prayer transfigures Christ’s disciples into reflections of their Master when it extends to the forgiveness of our enemies. Forgiveness bears witness to the world that love is stronger than sin, which is the great witness to Jesus that all the martyrs of the past and present have given to the world.
We cannot be reconciled with God unless He forgives us.
We cannot be forgiven by God unless we forgive others.
We cannot be reconciled with others unless we forgive them.
Others cannot be reconciled with us unless they forgive us.
We are always debtors because we owe everyone our love.
We can offer God our peaceful concord with one another. It is the community of all the faithful people united in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Here are the verses listed in the Catholic Topical Index of me Verbum Bible software that pertain to mercy:
Jn 3:16, Eph 2:4, Mt 19:29, Lk 1:78, 6:36, Lk 15, Ro 3:25, 2 Co 1:3, Tt 3:4, Heb 2:17, 4:15, Mt 9:13, 26:28, 1:12, 6:2–4, 32, 12:7, 31, 25:31–46, Mk 2:7, 17, 3:29, Lk 1:38, 43, 3:11, 7:11–32, 11:41, 12:10, Jn 5:18, 8:28, 10:33, 17:6, 26, 19:27, 2 Co 6:18, Eph 4:22, 24, 1 Ti 1:15, Heb 9:13–14, 13:3, Jas 2:15–16, 2 Pe 3:9, 1 Jn 1:8–9, 3:17, 4:20
Andrew Jones et al., eds., Catholic Topical Index (Bellingham, WA: Verbum, 2013).
Is your treatise copyrighted?
It’s great! I have a small bible study group and we’re studying the 8 beatitudes. On Monday we’re going to do Blessed are the Merciful! What timing. (I also hook it up to the Our Father - all 8, I mean).
Anyway, I plan to use some of your post which is very good. I use the bible, the CCC and a few commentaries.
So, thank you!
God bless you
Suggest you not collect these verses as a list of proof text but to absorb them so that you can live them and demonstrate God’s love by your actions. God Bless you.