Gratitude for mercy produces deep, lasting love

| Jean Denton | June 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Each week, Bettina spends two hours volunteering at her community’s free clinic, which offers a range of medical services for the working poor. She’s not a medical volunteer, but goes to the clinic every Wednesday to greet and take information from clients and potential clients to determine or confirm their eligibility for services.

She’s aware that her tasks are minimal and that her annual monetary donation to the clinic is far more valuable than her service. But she has continued her weekly stint for years simply because she loves the free clinic for how it makes a significant difference in individuals’ lives — including hers.

She loves seeing the staff and volunteer nurses, doctors, dentists and pharmacists treat the patients with respect and genuine concern. She loves observing the easy, familiar relationship that various clinic personnel have with patients who have depended on them for years.

Bettina’s love of the clinic is personal.

Many years ago, she was a patient there. Struggling financially and psychologically while trying to put herself through college, she depended on the free clinic for her regular medication for depression. The clinic literally was her salvation for two years.

Our Scriptures for June 12 speak about God’s saving mercy. The Gospel tells how a person’s gratitude for being saved by Jesus’ mercy produces a deep and lasting love. A woman anointing Jesus’ feet after bathing them with her tears was lifted out of a life bound by sin. Now her love for him was sealed.

Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that a personal experience of love and mercy begets a greater response of love and mercy than a lesser relationship. Bettina’s love and commitment to the free clinic grew out of her experience of mercy. Once lost in the darkness of depression, she was lifted free to have a productive future. Her gratitude to God and the people at the free clinic who do God’s work of compassion and healing is boundless and is shown in her actions.

While many people appreciate the valuable contributions the clinic and its volunteers make in the community, Bettina and others who’ve experienced its saving graces firsthand respond with true, abiding love.

This Catholic News Service column is offered in cooperation with the North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Sunday, June 12
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


  • 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
  • Galatians 2:16, 19-21
  • Luke 7:36–8:3

Category: Sunday Scriptures