Good Monday afternoon from a gloomy London!

Yesterday we were spoilt for choice at St. Mary of the Angels with two wonderful homilies on mercy and justice.

Keith set the bar high with a wonderful insight into “merciful justice” and showing us how cold justice without mercy is of no use but neither is the absence of justice. He concluded that justice done with mercy is the answer!

Paul having been privileged to hear some of Keith’s sermon rose to the challenge and using a magnificent example of restoring a painting he expanded further on how mercy and justice come together as we receive healing!

Justice because we recognise our brokenness before God rather than trying to hide it and say that we are ok, and mercy because God doesn’t want to condemn us for falling short but rather He desires to help us to rise to the heights of holiness.

It was wonderful to hear the two homilies so closely related, so similar in ways and so different in other ways and it was a wonderful example of the action of the Holy Spirit who reveals the same truths to us but in a variety of different ways!

Mercy and justice are of course at the centre of our faith and it’s through the loving sacrifice of Jesus that God’s justice is satisfied.

Some people wonder how a loving God could send people to hell and yet He can! When people refuse to acknowledge their brokenness, when they refuse to accept His mercy then they choose hell and He has no choice but to send them there.

How can He sleep at night after doing such a thing?

Well of course God doesn’t need sleep but if He did, the answer would be ‘very well indeed’.

One only sleeps badly when they’ve done something wrong but if God has poured out His mercy on a soul and the soul has freely refused it and chosen to go to hell then God does not need to feel guilty just as a judge in court doesn’t need to feel guilty about sending a dangerous criminal to prison.

In fact using the example of the judge, the judge would even be happy as his decision will make society a better place.

What would heaven be like if God was to allow everyone to get in, even the ones that hate him?

It’d be like earth at the moment!

And so you see justice is actually an act of mercy to society and for the common good. Not to apply justice and for example to allow a dangerous criminal to go free because we like the colour of his hair would be a gross injustice to society.

It might seem merciful to the criminal but it’s not even that. What would it teach Him only that crime has no consequences and that he can do it again and again and again.

Of course in the case of a very repentant and sorry criminal the judge should be fair but I’m talking here about the unrepentant thief!

And so my friends this week my prayer is for all those who seek justice and mercy, that justice will be satisfied through the eyes of mercy and truth and that the peace of Jesus be restored to our world and lives!

Have a great day!