Mercy Mondays

Footsteps of Mercy

By Kenneth Velasquez | Monday, January 25, 2016

“A father said to his son: Son, ‘be careful where you walk.’ The son responds: ‘you be carefulremember that I follow in your footsteps.’”

As I experience the blessing of being a father to my first child, it is impossible not to go back to my own childhood. Through my son, I can picture myself taking my first steps, experiencing my first fall and many other new experiences. As my son grows rapidly, my wife and I grow with him in our role as parents. He quickly learns new words, new expressions and gestures. He acknowledges our presence and calls for us in the middle of the night when he is afraid. In our role as parents, we become protectors, teachers and role models for our children.

Children process more information and capture more images than we can imagine. That makes me think about the influence of my actions and omissions on my son. Every night, I ask God to guide me in my role as a parent so my child will become a good Christian. Then I reflect on my faith, and how my actions make explicit God’s love and mercy to others. In order to make sure our children grow closer to God, we need to be their first evangelizers. To do so, we need to live our faith in Christ intentionally, and we need to see the importance of balance in our lives, dealing with distractions as we seek to do good deeds, especially deeds of mercy. It is normal to seek professional help if we want to improve or change certain aspects of our lives. However, it doesn’t seem that common to seek spiritual assistance in order to help us live like Christ and become more aware of those things God wants us to deal with so that we become part of the change we want to see around us.

As a father, I want to see my son happy and confident in the knowledge that God is all loving and merciful. How is he going to learn, though, if I do not spend time with him teaching him about God through my actions? I hope in this Jubilee of Mercy, we can all experience God’s mercy and be witnesses of that mercy for others—especially the little ones.

Mercy Challenge

Plan a visit to a local food pantry with your children and bring some items to those in need. Let the children select the items and give them themselves.

Kenneth Velasquez is Coordinator of Catechist Formation and Certification for the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry