This morning’s Mass had as its first reading this from the Book of Wisdom:
2 Because the whole world before thee is like a speck that tips the scales,
and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground.
23 But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things,
and thou dost overlook men’s sins, that they may repent.
24 For thou lovest all things that exist,
and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made,
for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.
25 How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it?
Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?
26 Thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living.
12 For thy immortal spirit is in all things.
2 Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass,
and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin,
that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord.
in which there is indeed all the wisdom we need, and the fullness of which was revealed in Christ Jesus.
One of the hardest things for us to bear is God’s mercy. We feel indignant and wish to chastise our enemies and those who hurt us, or those who fail to keep God’s law as we try to. Yet is any other lesson more inculcated in us from Our Lord’s parables that such behaviour is wrong and contrary to His own example?
Yes, our righteousness should exceed that of the Pharisees, and in so doing, that includes not taking their attitude as criticised by Christ. If we keep the Law, good, so we should, and it is nothing to boast of; nor is the failure of others so to do a cause for us to rejoice. Do we pray? Well, good, so we should, but let us close the door and not make a show of it. Do others fall short? Well, why, so do we.
God hates sin, He hates it as any Father would hate that which damages His child. But He does not seek to punish us, but to wean us from our sins and to give us chance after chance to repent. So, He corrects us, and so, little by little, if we will heed Him, we shall come to be more conformed with His will.
That was love, that which led Him to sacrifice Himself for us. I have so little of it, and deserve none of what He so richly bestows on me, for I have truly erred and strayed from His ways, not so much in what I have done, but in what I have left undone; I am without health – and were it not for Grace I should perish.
For why has it been given to me, His handmaiden, to have the Faith to believe in Him when so many wiser than myself cannot come to that place. He knew me from my mother’s womb, but that is true of us all. There is a deep mystery here, and it makes me humble and grateful, it makes my heart to swell to bursting, for how can I find the words anywhere under Heaven or in the deep which will let me say thank you for this gift? And where shall I find the words to express my sorrow at what I have not done? He has washed away all tears, and He has comforted me, and because HIs ‘immortal spirit’ is in me, I put my trust in Him.
Two certainties only have I: that I am a sinner, and He is my Lord and loves me. From that last comes from my heart, as though unbidden, a love which is beyond my power to tell.