“Merciful and Gracious Is The Lord, Slow in Anger and Abounding in Kindness” (Ps 103:8)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have just listened to the Word of God through the four readings:
1. The first Reading taken from the Book of Genesis, telling us how the Lord God came to the rescue of His People Israel from their slavery in Egypt. The message is clear: God never distances Himself from the lives of all those who trust in Him. The poor, the oppressed are often termed by the economic and political powerful as voiceless because the victims of arrogant rulers, who have cried for justice for years, their lungs out, will end up languishing in injustice and suffering. No, they are wrong because the Lord God said to the great Prophet Moses: “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore I have come to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians.” The poor and suffering are, for this reason, not the voiceless, for Their cry reaches the ear of the merciful Father in heaven.
2. Saint Paul in the second Reading taken from his First Letter to the Corinthians sends a stern warning to those who do evil things. Looking back to the journey of the Israelites from the land of exile to the Promised Land, none of those failing to observe God’s commandments were allowed to enter it.
3. One cannot help, to this point, but wander how we should properly reconcile divine justice and divine mercy. God will not let any sin go unpunished. But, the sinner’s repentance and conversion to God will surely make the merciful and forgiving Father happier. The parable of the fig tree assures us of God’s extreme patience in waiting for criminals to reform their previous lives full of evildoings in order to bear fruit in a new way of life, led by the Spirit of love and peace.
4. It seems that sinners should not take advantage of God’s kindness and compassion to persist in doing further evil things but on the contrary have to fully respond to His call to repentance and reform in order to be worthy of divine mercy and forgiveness.
Fr. Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Nhut, O.P.
The Holy Spirit Choir