19 Jul 2020. Cycle A. 16th Sun OT. Wis 12:13, 16-19 + Rom 8:26-27 + Mt 13:24-43
“For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved … But though you are a master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you. And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins” (Wis 12:16-19).
The Book of Wisdom says, divine reforming is a balance of justice and mercy. While justice is a show of might, mercy is a show of kindness.
While justice is a quest for righteousness, mercy is a quest for reformation.
All deserve second chances. All have sinned; and all have erred. The righteous men learn from their sins, and the wise learn from their mistakes. The wise become wiser from their mistakes.
In the parable of the weeds among the wheat, Jesus explained that although God is mighty, He does not punish the wicked as quickly as people expected Him to do (cf. Mt 13:24-43; Nah 1:2-3). He avoids the guilty and the innocent suffering collateral damage.
God is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds (cf. Ps 145:17), slow to anger, but quick in mercy (cf. Pss 103:8; 145:8). God does not desire the death of sinners, but rejoices in their conversion (Ez 18:23).
God is just but relents punishment (cf. Jl 2:13; Jon 4:2; Ez 36:22-23). Out of love, He nudges sinners constantly, rather than punishes them instantly. While the blindfolded Lady Justice uses the scale to weigh guilt, wide-eyed Divine Justice uses the scale to balance justice and mercy.
Civil Justice is likewise, enjoined to follow the divine model: reform is a balance of justice and kindness. Capital punishment in human justice is a revenge by the victim, not a reform from wickedness. VSS