It's Friday again. I cheated a little. You could fill libraries with the works that were written on today's subject. Thankfully, it seems a little silly to try do it justice. The rules and benefits of Five Minute Fridays can be found, as on every Friday, here. Today's word is "mercy".
When I was a student in New Brunswick, I took a trip to a savonrie, a soap shop that made their own product, cottage industry style, right in the store. Their claim to fame was their olive oil: the core of every soap they made. We watched the demonstrator rub the raw oil all over his face, his hands, his hair, and laughed nervously at the thought of cleanliness through such a greasing. "You laugh", he said, baldly Acadien in his confidence, "but this is the image of health!" And so it was: a man shining in life, supple with grace.
I remember the first sermon where the Greek that renders as 'Lord have mercy' was given a more thorough translation. 'Eleison' finds it's root in 'oil', that fruit of the olive once so vital to Mediterranean cooking, heating, light and life. Those two scenes juxtapose together: the oil that sooths, heals, nourishes is also that that cleans, that smooths all our rough edges. The image of health.