The Lord is gracious and merciful. 

Have you ever wondered whether God has forgotten you? After years in exile, the Israelites certainly did! In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah announces all the blessings that God has in store for his people. And yet even in the face of these promises, the people cry out, “The Lord has forsaken me” (Isaiah 49:14).

But can the God who loves us so much truly forget us? Let’s find the answer as we pray with today’s responsorial psalm.

The Lord is gracious and merciful (Psalm 145:8). “Father, you created me out of love. Even when I sin, you’re not angry with me, nor do you ever give up on me. Instead, when I feel distant like the prodigal son, you are the merciful father, waiting with open arms to welcome me back (Luke 15:11-32). You are always ready to forgive my every sin.”

The Lord is good to all and compassionate (Psalm 145:9). “You know my trials and weaknesses, Lord, and you have sympathy for me, just as you did for the Israelites in exile. Your compassion knows no bounds! Open my eyes so that I can see how your goodness and compassion permeate every aspect of my life.”

The Lord lifts up all who are falling (Psalm 145:14). “My stumbling and falling do not drive you away. No, your overwhelming mercy draws me back to you. You promise to lift me up and lead me to you (Isaiah 49:10). It might take days or even years, but you desire my return as much as you desired the return of the exiles to their homeland.”

The Lord is just in all his ways (Psalm 145:17). “Lord, I don’t always see what you are doing or how you are doing it. Sometimes I don’t understand why things turn out the way they do. But I believe that you are just and always at work, comforting, forgiving, and shining your light into the darkness.”

The Lord is near to all who call upon him (Psalm 145:18). “Father, I know you are near to me, now and at every moment of my life. Help me to recall your goodness and mercy, especially in those times when I think you have forgotten me.”

“Gracious God, help me to hold fast to you even in the hard times!”

Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
John 5:17-30


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