As I meditated upon the readings for tomorrow (Oct 14th, 2015), that word impenitent jumped out at me reminding me of this heroic scene. In both the first reading and the gospel we see people being reminded of the need for not just justice, but also for mercy. That the core of Jesus message is to bring about a metanoia experience in which the person turns from their former ways and experiences true conversion. True conversion brings about not just a spiritual, internal change, but an outward change expressed in and through good works.
Then Jesus hears from another voice crying out, but Lord your word cuts me to the quick, surely you don't mean me as well? To which Jesus quickly affirms "Woe also to you[..]! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them." Jesus makes sure to call out to all of those in his audience who aren't living an authentic life, one tempered in covenantal love. He calls out to us to express our relationship with God in good works, in loving one another, in being merciful because we remember the mercy with which God has already showered each and everyone of us.
As I watch the news and read my different social media, I see so much going on in the world that shows not only a lack of justice but also a great lack of mercy. We see refugees being expelled from their country, Christians being martyred and crucified, fleeing refugees being refused entry and even basic necessities out of the inconvenience that might cause any nation that chooses to accept them. We see people proclaiming each and every immigrant to be a thug, a vandal, a radical adherent to a religion... guilty of some subterfuge or plotting to destroy the nation from within.
Maybe some of them are indeed that sort of person. What though of the women? The children? The
There are too many missed opportunities out there to show God's mercy and justice to others. We have a lot of work to do in this world. We pray daily that His kingdom come and His will be done, but do we truly mean it? After all, as Mother Teresa said, “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” I pray that we will open our hearts to God's mercy and justice, that we might hear "Well done my good and faithful servant," and not “Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”