My Daily Visitor Home
Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. — Psalm 103:10
Mass readings: Daniel 9:4-10 / Luke 6:36-38
I’ve been a civilian, English professor at the U.S. Naval Academy for 20 years. In all that time, I’ve not grown comfortable with the manner in which students are expelled from the institution. It’s never been entirely clear to me when an offense warrants expulsion and when it doesn’t. Often, we are told: “Such offenses cost lives. We can’t have people with weak moral character in the Navy.” Of course, that makes sense.
But does one misstep, one lie, one drunken binge disqualify a student? When I hear Jesus say, in today’s Gospel, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” I wonder how much mercy He’d grant to my errant students. I like the concept of mercy. I even like the sound of the word. I struggle, however, with an understanding of its implementation.
Prayer: God of justice and of mercy, please aid my limited understanding.
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