Mercy is a twofold concept of mental and physical acts. It is shown in the classic act of forgiveness but also through works that extend to another's situation that we can help alleviate in some small way. Thus, the fifth Beatitude calls us to act with mind and body today.
The classic act of mercy, forgiveness, has been modeled for us by Christ at His Crucifixion when He asked God to forgive those who had hurt before He died. This is the ultimate example and one we are unlikely to have opportunity to model. But we will have many opportunities to practice mercy because of our sinful natures. Recall Peter asking Jesus how many times he must forgive the brother who sins against him. Despite what may look and sound like a math problem, 7 times 77 is actually an illustration of infinity. We are to forgive over and over, constantly acting with mercy towards our sinful brothers and sisters, as they do the same for us.
Mercy outside of our own hearts can manifest in what is known as the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. These actions are more than just forgiveness or a state of mind, but a willingness to be part of another's misfortune and struggle. These actions, large or small, put us second to others. We are merciful when we allow the frazzled parent to step in front of us in line at the grocery store, when we share our time and comfort with a mourning friend or coworker, and when we share our our own good fortune with those who have less. These acts can be physical, such as visiting the sick or burying dead or they can be spiritual, like praying for others or counseling those who doubt their faith. All of these merciful acts most importantly put our needs second to another's, hearing God's call to serve our brothers and sisters rather than ourselves.
Today, rather than reading from Matthew, look over the list of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy according the USCCB (United States Catholic Conference of Bishops). You can just click the links! The Corporal Works of Mercy actually come from Matthew's chapter 25, which you can read here if you'd like. Take time to reflect on those actions and how you could make them a part of your daily or weekly routine. You can start simple by sharing articles or blog posts that you think would help bring others closer to God and by taking time to visit the an elderly relative.