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A Sackful of Mercy!

Thanks be to God, through Whom we have such overflowing consolation in this pilgrimage, this exile, this present misery. I have often exhorted you never to forget that we are pilgrims, far away from our native land, heirs who have been thrown out of our inheritance. For those who never experience desolation cannot know consolation. And that is why people who live in the world, absorbed in its affairs, do not seek after mercy, for they do not feel their misery. But listen, you to whom it is said, and not in vain, "Be still and known how gracious the Lord is". Listen, you whom worldly interests do not hold back; listen, you who really know what exile means. Here is your comfort : help has come down from heaven! The kindness and love of God for mankind have appeared".

The kindness was always there, for the Lord's mercy is eternal; but it was hidden until "His love for mankind appeared . Before that, it was promised but not felt, so that many did not believe in it. But look! He no longer promises peace, He sends it; He no longer predicts it; He presents it to us. God the Father has sent a sackful of His mercy to earth: a sack that must be torn open through Christ's suffering, so that the price of our redemption may pour out of it. It is only a small sack, but it is full. "Unto us a small child is given", yet "in Him dwells the fullness of deity". For "when the fullness of time had come" , the fullness of deity also came. He came in flesh to show Himself to people living in the flesh; and His love for mankind appeared, so was there for Him to commend His kindness to me, than by His taking my flesh - my flesh, not the flesh Adam had before he fell? What could mightily declare His mercy as this act of closing Himself with our misery? And the smaller He made Himself, the kinder He showed Himself; the smaller He becomes for me, the dearer He becomes to me.
Bernard of Clairvaux
(Source: Semon on Titus 3:4)

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