Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Adam Royal
Vigésimo Cuarto Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario - Padre Adán Royal
Septiembre 12, 2020 - 7:00 PM
September 13, 2020 - 8:30 AM
Grabación de Audio
The world has too much justice. In fact, it has gorged itself on justice. That may seem surprising, maybe even unbelievable. After all, judging by appearances alone it looks like there is almost no justice in the world. Every day the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer, people starve, new wars are started by unjust aggressors, and crimes are committed and left unsolved. But really, all of those things, and every other act of injustice we see are the result of our constant striving for justice. Every time something happens to us or to our community we want it set right immediately, we will not wait for justice to be served. We want satisfaction for the wounds that we have received and we will take it by any means necessary. Whether it is by gossip to tear down those who hurt us, in the court room, with new legislation, or even by violence. We will get our revenge, which we call justice, and we will ensure those people can’t hurt us again. The world has too much justice and it is killing us. What the world needs, what we all need, is mercy. We need to hear and we need to say, “I forgive you.”
Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answers him, “not seven times but seventy-seven times.” St. Peter is asking Jesus, “What are the limits of mercy?” Jesus’ response is clear, “There are none.” That bears hearing again. There are no limits to mercy. The mercy of God is infinite, it is inexhaustible. No matter how many times we sin, no matter how badly we sin, we can have forgiveness, he will show us mercy. That is why there is peace in God’s kingdom, because they know only mercy. Those who have gone before us and now enjoy the kingdom do not fear revenge, they do not fear that their pasts will come back to bite them, they do not fear at all. Because God’s mercy has taken away their fear and given them gratitude in its place. They do not worry, they simply thank God for the limitless mercy he has shown. They thank him for the peace that it gives. And most especially, they thank him because it has allowed them to let go, to let go of their desire for vengeance, to let go of their anger and grudges, and enjoy their lives in God’s presence.
This great gift of peace is not intended to be confined to heaven. It isn’t only for the next life. Christianity is not a religion of the after life, it is a faith of the here and now. Whatever God has promised to give us in heaven we should begin to share in right now. The kingdom of God is to be made present among us. If we want that perfect peace known by the saints, then we must let go of our desire for justice and embrace the way of mercy. Rather than take every petty form of revenge that we can, let us start saying, “I forgive you.” Rather than coerce others by threats and violence to restore whatever has been been taken from us, whether it is property or our ego, let us turn to Christ and beg him, “Lord, teach me to be merciful as you are merciful.” Then the world will change. When the world is filled with mercy there will be no room for vengeance. When the world is filled to overflowing with mercy, then we will know true justice.