Mass Readings: April 7

First: Exodus 32:7-14
Resp: Psalm 106:19-23
Gospel: John 5:31-47

I DESIRE MERCY

"Then He spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, His chosen one, withstood Him in the breach to turn back His destructive wrath." –Psalm 106:23

The scene described in Psalm 106:23 above might leave the impression that God is angry, vengeful, and eager to punish. A more complete interpretation is that God is perfectly just. Sins, both personal and national, have harmful effects on innocent people and nations. Justice demands that these wrongs to humanity and civilization be righted. The justice of God also demands that reparation be made for the wrong He Himself has suffered from the sins of humanity. However, God delights in mercy (Mi 7:18) and is more eager to give mercy than we are to receive it. Not only that, but Jesus Himself intercedes for us and for nations (1 Jn 2:1). Sadly, many have prevented themselves and others from receiving God's mercy (see Mt 23:13).

The Lord declares: "The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they afflict the poor and the needy, and oppress the resident alien without justice. Thus I have searched among them for someone who could build a wall or stand in the breach before Me to keep Me from destroying the land; but I found no one" (Ez 22:29-30). This passage reveals a God Who wants His justice to be won over by an appeal to His mercy. Yet who is willing to pay the price of appealing for God's mercy and standing in the breach to intercede on behalf of a sinful world? The Lord desires mercy (Mt 9:13). Do we desire mercy enough to stand in the breach and intercede for it?

PRAYER: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
PROMISE: "The Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people." –Ex 32:14
PRAISE: St. John gave up a life of privilege in order to minister to physically as well as spiritually impoverished boys.