Wednesday 28 July 2021

Scriptures of Mercy - Father Adrian Graffy - The Love of God in the Old Testament

Scriptures of Mercy:
The Love of God in the Old Testament
Year of Mercy
Father Adrian Graffy 
ISBN 9781784691288
eISBN 9781784693084
CTS Booklet SC121

This is the third volume in the Year of Mercy Series that I have read. I believe there are 8 volumes in this series and that 6 of them are available as eBooks. I picked all the eBooks up as soon as I finished the first one. Over the last several years, I have read over 200 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. This is the fifth book I have read by father Adrian Graffy. It will not be my last. The description of the booklet is:

“Twelve famous Old Testament passages draw out the boundless mercy of God, thus revealing his true nature and challenging popular misconceptions about God and the Bible. From Adam and Eve, Joseph, the Exodus, Jonah, King David, and many others, to the cries of the Prophets, we are acquainted with this mercy time and time again. Pope Francis calls us to return to the scriptures and to divine mercy. This text is especially helpful to those who have limited knowledge of the scriptures and open up for them just how prominent the reality of God’s mercy is in the scriptures.”

The chapters in this volume are:

In the Beginning - the Mercy of God
Esau Embraces his Brother Jacob
Joseph Pardons his Brothers
God Sets the People Free
God the Merciful
David Pleads for Forgiveness
The Parental Compassion of God
A Call to Repentance
Jonah Struggles with God’s Mercy
The Eternal Covenant of God’s Mercy
Remember the Mercy of God
God, Lover of Life

With each booklet I read in this series I appreciate it more. This booklet, like the other two I have read in the series, can easily be read over a large mug of coffee or tea. But they are also books that could be returned to again and again. The ‘Year of Mercy’ might be well behind us, but its message is still an important one. In our lives and in the impact we can and should have upon the world around us. And this volume examining the 12 examples of Mercy from the Old testament is a wonderful read. I highlighted a few passages during my first reading of this volume, they are:

“The twelve readings in this booklet provide a wide variety of Old Testament passages which speak of God’s mercy, and the way this mercy is lived out by human beings. There are many other texts which might have been included. God’s mercy begins from the very beginning, and, as Psalm 136 (135) says, “it endures for ever”.”

“The opening chapters of the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, are unique. They address fundamental questions. Through these ancient stories we learn about the goodness of God, the beauty of God’s creation, the place of human beings in it, and so much more. After two stories about God bringing the creation into existence, the man and his wife are in a garden. Everything is provided for their needs. Furthermore, they are given the uniquely human gift of free choice. The story teaches us that human beings can make the wrong choices, that we can choose what is not good, and that such choices have consequences.”

“• How often have you experienced goodness coming from an unexpected source? 
• Is there anyone you can surprise by offering them mercy, just as Esau did to Jacob?”

“As the story of the chosen people continues we are faced with another family crisis. Jacob has a favourite son called Joseph, son of his beloved wife Rachel, and he loves Joseph more than all his other sons. This Joseph is the recipient of the amazing coat with long sleeves. His brothers are jealous and kidnap Joseph, selling him into slavery in Egypt. When famine hits Canaan their homeland, the brothers go to Egypt to beg for food. They encounter a powerful government official who has charge of the food stores. He treats them with kindness. This official is none other than Joseph.”

And the one that had the biggest impact on me was:

“The mercy of God needs collaborators, and can be very persuasive when human beings are slow to respond to God’s call.”

Reading this volume I saw several of these OT events in a different light. Some I had previously thought of as God’s provision, but looking at them through the term of mercy I see them in a new light. And I know this will have an impact on my future readings in both the old and new testaments. 

This book is another excellent read in a great series. The Year of Mercy may be past, but we can all grow in our knowledge of Mercy and of living it out. This book and the series will help us do just that. This book was originally published in 2016 and the eBook released in 2017. It is an great little booklet. And I look forward to reading the others in the Year of Mercy Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Year of Mercy Books:

Books by Father Adrian Graffy:
A Manual of Hebrew Poetics
Alive and Active: The Old Testament Beyond 2000
Trustworthy and True: The Gospels Beyond 2000
Twelve Steps to the Love of God

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