“But to the Lord, our God, belong compassion and forgiveness”
In today’s first reading from Daniel we hear the affirmation (confession) that the Lord is compassionate and forgiving. As Daniel prays, he confesses his own sinfulness and the sinfulness of his people: “O Lord, we are ashamed, like our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, for having sinned against you. But to the Lord, our God, belong compassion and forgiveness.”
In the Gospel Jesus teaches that since God is compassionate and forgiving so we should be: “Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.” Jesus, knowing a tendency of “religious people,” instead of saying “do not judge” he says “Stop judging…Stop condemning.”
Pope Francis made the famous comment: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Some were surprised that the pope would say such a thing. I was surprised even shocked that people would be surprised since the Pope was only echoing the clear teaching of Jesus.
Today as religious people who are zealous for the things of God let us take to heart Jesus’ command in today’s Gospel: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging…Stop condemning.”