Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Homily for 1/30/11 - P36 - Lord have mercy

Expand Messages
  • Fr David Moser
    1Timothy 1:15-17 Luke 18:35-43 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief … for this reason I obtained mercy” What a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2011
      1Timothy 1:15-17
      Luke 18:35-43

      “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief …
      for this reason I obtained mercy”

      What a remarkable saying this is. Christ Jesus, the God/man, God
      incarnate, the Creator of all that is has come into this world which He
      created to save … me. God, Who is above all things has compassion on me
      and so for my sake He took flesh, was born of a Virgin, lived, suffered
      and died so that I might not perish. No amount of self-esteem or
      self-worth could match the value and worth that God has placed upon me.
      For this reason I call out, like the blind man, “Lord have mercy on me”
      believing that He will indeed hear my cry and come to help me. And this
      remarkable saying does not apply only to me, but to each one of us. Our
      Lord Jesus Christ has come into the world for each one of us – for every
      single man and woman who has ever been born or who ever will be born in
      this world. Jesus has come to you.

      Having heard, as did the blind man that Jesus has come to us, we then
      cry out to Him to get His attention so that He is sure not to pass by
      but to come and help us. The blind man, hearing that it was Jesus who
      passed by, began to cry out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” and
      even when others tried to get him to be silent, he cried out all the
      more, “have mercy on me.” And Jesus heard him and came to him. Therefore
      having heard that Jesus has come to us, we imitate the blind man crying
      out, “Lord have mercy on me.”

      From this blind man, we learn how to pray. So many things could this
      blind man have said to Jesus, but only one thing he asked for – mercy.
      That was all he needed, and indeed it is all that we need. There is
      nothing else that we need from God except mercy. When we pray, that is
      our most common prayer, “Lord have mercy” and that is because it is the
      most basic, most urgent, most necessary prayer that we have.

      When we say “Lord have mercy” what do we mean? These three words
      encompass so much, and yet they are so simple. When we say Lord have
      mercy, first of all we confess our need, we confess that we are not self
      sufficient, we confess that without Jesus Christ we are missing
      something vital that only He can provide. We confess our weakness, we
      confess our deficiency, we confess our helplessness. This is the very
      thing that attracts our God to us – when we set aside our own sinful
      self sufficiency and instead put all our hope in Him.

      Also in the cry of “Lord have mercy” we also confess our trust that
      Jesus Christ is the One Who can help us, Who can fulfill our
      deficiencies and Who can make us whole. It would be useless for us to
      ask help from someone who was unable to help us. No matter how much we
      asked and no matter how much that other one might want to help, if they
      were unable, it would be useless. But in calling out to Jesus Christ for
      mercy, we confess that He is the One Who can help us and we put our hope
      and trust in Him.

      Notice that the prayer, “Lord have mercy” is wonderfully indefinite.
      When we use this prayer we not only say that we are needy, but we also
      say that we do not know what our need truly is. In calling out to Jesus
      Christ to “have mercy” we trust that He will know our need even better
      than we might know it ourselves. When we pray, we do not tell God what
      to do as though he were a servant or an employee, but we simply put
      ourselves into His care, trusting that He will know what we need, even
      better than we do ourselves.

      But then don’t we also ask God for specific things when we pray – we ask
      for peace, forgiveness, health, and any number personal needs. How then
      is it that we trust God to know our needs, but at the same time tell him
      what we want from Him? Here we see the second part of the Gospel coming
      into play. Having heard his cry for mercy, Jesus came to the blind man
      and asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He asks us this not
      because He does not know our need, but rather it is important to Him for
      us to name our desires. It is important for us to do this for in naming
      our desire, we then reveal it and give it substance. When our desires
      remain unnamed, they remain insubstantial and undefined and thus can
      change and affect us in many ways. They can hide from us and even appear
      not as something that is a deficit but rather can become a source of
      pride. So when we name them, we place them in full view of both Jesus
      Christ (who has already seen them in the depths of our hearts) but also
      we have brought them out into our view so that we can see them clearly
      ourselves. Then we can let go of them and place them into the hands of

      Consider then how this will affect our prayer. We stand before our Lord
      and He asks us, “What do you want?” At this point we pour out before Him
      all of our needs, all of our desires, all of our hopes. By naming each
      one it is as if we take it from our soul and set it at his feet offering
      it to him. And He takes our needs and desires and hopes to Himself and
      gives us in return the one thing that we need – mercy. Having taken all
      of our burden onto Himself He then fulfills our desire in the way that
      He knows will best help us. And we, having expressed already our trust
      in His all knowing, all wise compassion, now have confidence that He
      will give us that which is necessary in the way that which is most
      effective for the fulfilling of our needs and desires.

      This then is how we should pray. We first cry out “Lord have mercy”
      acknowledging our own helplessness and weakness. Then as we stand before
      the Lord, we tell Him everything that is on our hearts, every need,
      every weakness, every frustration, every sorrow, every joy, every
      desire, every hope and dream. We tell Him everything and in doing so we
      set all of the contents of our heart at His feet. Then having given it
      all to Him, we return to our first prayer saying only “Lord have mercy”.
      In this we say, as it were, “Here is all that I need and want and hope.
      I give it to you. I don’t know how to accomplish these things, I don’t
      know how to fulfill my needs, I don’t know what is good for me and what
      will harm me. I don’t know – but you do. And so I give this to You, O
      Lord, and trust that You will sort through all of this and provide what
      I need in the way that I need it. I release all of this into your hands
      believing that you will not withhold from me any good thing and that
      having asked for bread you will not give to me a stone.” We say “Lord
      have mercy” and in so doing we put all of our needs and desires and
      hopes into the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. We let go of these
      things, and no longer are we responsible for providing these things for
      ourselves, but we can trust that He will take care of these cares and
      concerns, these joys and sorrows, these wants and needs in the way that
      is best for our well being.

      “Lord have mercy” – this is our basic prayer, in fact it is the only
      prayer that we need. Every other prayer that we say comes down to just
      this one prayer, “Lord have mercy” and with this prayer, Jesus Christ
      comes to us. When He comes He asks of us “What do you want” giving us
      the opportunity to lay every need, every care, every hope, every desire
      at His feet; we tell Him everything. With this prayer we offer it all to
      Him and He takes it from us, freeing us from the tyranny of providing
      for ourselves and we can rest in His care and His provision. We know
      that He will take what we offer and meet every need, fulfill every
      desire, resolve every care in Himself. All this we accomplish with the
      one simple prayer, “Lord have mercy”.

      Archpriest David Moser
      St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
      Homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      Website: http://stseraphimboise.org
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.