Author: Peter Yaremko
In announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis drew our attention to Psalm 136, where the phrase “His mercy endures forever” is repeated no less than 26 times. By one count, this refrain appears in the Bible 41 times.
Why is this refrain so ubiquitous in both Old and New Testaments?
Francis explains: “To repeat continually ‘His mercy endures forever’ seems to break through the dimensions of space and time, inserting everything into the eternal mystery of love. It is as if to say that not only in history, but for all eternity man will always be under the merciful gaze of the Father.”
Before his Passion, Jesus prayed this psalm. Matthew attests to this in his Gospel when he says that, “when they had sung a hymn,” Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives.
When He instituted the Eucharist, He did so in the light of His mercy.
Within the very same context of mercy, Jesus entered upon His passion and death, conscious of the great mystery of love that he would consummate on the cross.
Knowing that Jesus himself prayed this psalm makes it even more meaningful for us to take up the refrain in our daily lives by praying these words of praise: “His mercy endures forever.”
Our prayer today: I thank you every day Lord, for Your enduring mercy. It is only because of Your mercy that I am saved.