“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a Son” (Heb 1:1-2) – says the author of the letter to the Hebrews. God most fully revealed the secret of His merciful love in and through Christ. Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Mercy – writes St. Faustina. In His incarnation, life, miracles and teaching, and especially in the passion, death and resurrection, the full light of the mystery of God’s mercy shines through. The Holy Father John Paul II underlined that “Especially through His lifestyle and through His actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live – an effective love, a love that addresses itself to man and embraces everything that makes up his humanity. This love makes itself particularly noticed in contact with suffering, injustice and poverty – in contact with the whole historical ‘human condition,’ which in various ways manifests man’s limitation and frailty, both physical and moral. It is precisely the mode and sphere in which love manifests itself that in biblical language is called ‘mercy’.” (DM 3).
The revelation of the merciful love of God is at the very heart of Christ’s teaching. He talked about it not only in parables: the merciful father and the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and the unmerciful servant (unforgiving debtor) (Matthew 18:23-35), but also in other parables and teaching, where He revealed various aspects of this mystery (cf. Mt 18:12-14, Mt 20:1-15, Lk 15:3-7). Christ not only taught about the merciful love of God, but above all He manifested it and made it the central message of His salvific mission. At the start of His public ministry, citing the words of the prophet Isaiah, Jesus said to the people of Nazareth that He was sent to bring good news to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord (cf. Lk 4:18n). When the disciples of John the Baptist asked Him: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” (Luke 7:19) – Jesus replied: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them” (Lk 7:22 n). In a word – God’s mercy is manifesting itself in the world.
However, the merciful love of God was revealed most completely through His Son in the Hour of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. John Paul II writes that “The Paschal Mystery is the culmination of this revealing and effecting of mercy, which is able to justify man, to restore justice in the sense of that salvific order which God willed from the beginning in man and, through man, in the world.” (DM 7).