20 March 2011

Better That God Be Merciful Than Fair

Msgr. Pope has written another fine piece on the Archdiocese of Washington blog on why we should be grateful for God's mercy.

It is a rather dangerous thing demand that God be fair. How easily we can declare of many circumstances. “That’s not fair!” But when it comes to the Lord, a little friendly advice is helpful: Be VERY careful before you ask God to be fair. If God were fair we’d all be in Hell right now. As it is, God is merciful and none of us have ever really gotten the punishment we deserved. Notice that God answers the accusation that it is unfair for him to punish the sinner in a twofold way:

1. Your Choice – If a person sins and does not repent of it he will die (i.e. descend to hell). But that is his choice to stay in sin and thus incur the cosequence that he dies spiritually and cannot see eternal life. It is our choice that is determinative of this.

2. Choose Mercy! God also answers with a sort of plea that we call on his mercy instead. God is a God of the second chance. And, rather than give us the fairness we seek in a misguided way, we bids us call on his mercy, repent and he will hear and save us. For if a person repent he will live! Scripture says elsewhere: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?‘ (Ezekiel 33:11). Again, God our savior wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). And again, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

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