Mass Readings: Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22/Matthew 18:15-20

We Need Mercy

The first reading today is pretty hard to swallow. Ezekiel says the God of Israel, who had seen from on high all the abominations going on below, decides that a general slaughter of all sinners is in order for this particular city. Only the good people would be spared, those marked with an X on the forehead. This story makes one wonder if some of the Old Testament writers would have disapproved of Jesus feeding loaves and fishes to 5,000 total strangers. Some of them were surely sinners.

When our Emily was small, she asked, “But what about the kids?” when we read the Noah’s Ark story. A lot of Old Testament is about personal accountability, of course, which is essential. But the teachings of Jesus added a new kind of reckoning, and we can be glad for that.

Prayer: Lord, help us turn away from sin, and turn toward Your merciful face.