The parable of the Prodigal son shows that the father has shown mercy to his sons without counting the cost. For the father the cost probably lies between lost and found or life and death. 'All I have is yours... your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found' (Lk 15,32). The saying 'all I have is yours' confirms that I exist for you. I labour for you and I live for you. For this reason alone we must celebrate the unconditional love of the father towards his children.
The father has shown mercy through kindness and forgiveness and granted the son the relationship to a level even better than before it was broken. Mercy denotes loving and compassion activity and that is the Christians virtues. It is the way of life and life giving.
To speak of God's mercy is to speak about the powerful relationship God's mercy that is extended to all, especially the weak and the needy. And that is the primarily saving mission of Jesus on earth. God seeks the relationship to us through Jesus, who entered the earth to show us God's Mercy. Jesus Christ who comes to live amongst us and teaches us about the God's love and mercy as unconditional. The Old Testament records of God's mercy shown at different levels: The individual level, as a nation and the level of the entire human race. An individual experiences God's forgiveness when a person repents and comes back to God. A nation receives God's mercy when its leaders on behalf of the people pleading to God for forgiveness and to receive peace and prosperity. God is faithful to the covenant God made to the human race and in Jesus we see God's covenant is being fulfilled. Jesus did it by means of the cross. Through the cross Jesus freed us from the power of sin. By His resurrection Jesus liberated us from the power of death and offered us the new life, the everlasting life.
Recognizing God's mercy will help us to learn from God to be a channel of God's mercy to others. 'Be merciful just as your Father is merciful' Lk 6,36. Mercy should be given to everyone who needs our help and support. Both the Lord's Prayer (Lk 11) and the story of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15) teach the same thing and that is about God's mercy. Talking about God's mercy without acting on it is similar to making an empty promise.
Christians show mercy to others not out of duty, but it is driven out of loving God and loving our neighbours. We show mercy to others firstly because we love God. Secondly, we have experienced of God's mercy throughout our lives. Thirdly, we see the face of Jesus in others. And fourthly, they are our brothers and sisters in one, God's family. Mercy should be extended to both the living and the dead. It should be extended to everything that God has created, because they are God's creation.