MERCY AND JUSTICE

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

(Part 77)

MERCY AND JUSTICE

June 14, 2017

Today’s readings:

Psalm 99:5-9

Matthew 5:17-19

Today there are those in our Church who focus on mercy but neglect justice. It is as if one can pursue only either one of the two, that one is the opposite of the other, and the greater virtue is mercy. Indeed we are to be merciful as the God is merciful.

But both mercy and justice are attributes of God. The psalmist says: “O Lord, our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, though you punished their offenses.” (Ps 99:8). God does not want us to remain in our sins and will punish us if we do so. But God forgives us as we repent. Mercy is an invitation to repentance. Mercy without justice is false mercy. Indeed, God is our “mighty king, lover of justice” (Ps 99:4a). Thus Jesus tells the sinner, “Sin no more.”

Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17). Something insidious has come into our Church, and that is political correctness. It is the posture of not speaking about a person’s sin because it is offensive. We are just to be welcoming and embrace the sinner. We are no longer to be prophetic in calling people out with regard to their sin. This in effect abolishes the law and the prophets. And the result is people remain in their sin and so do not receive God’s forgiveness.

The commandments of God are still with us, to be obeyed. “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:19a). This is a warning to sinners. It is also a warning to those who in effect condone sin through political correctness.

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