FOR MONDAY *TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: James 2:8-13
“For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13; New Revised Standard Version)
In our world where we’re constantly evaluating and measuring up and criticizing and condemning, this passage makes no sense. Yet, the bottom line of the Scriptures, according to Alan Brehm, is that God’s call clear is this — we who have experienced mercy likewise extend such mercy to others. From the beginning to the end, from Genesis to Revelation, God’s call is one to “a justice defined by compassion and mercy toward others, especially the least and the lost and the left out.”
Long ago, Saint Maximos the Confessor (580-662) commended this way of life: “Blessed is the one who can love all people equally … always thinking good of everyone.” This is a daunting and challenging task at times. Giving others the benefit of the doubt isn’t easy. We would rather condemn and dismiss them so that we do not have to go to the trouble of learning how to love them. Yet, we must remember that Jesus gave his life for them as well as us.
PRAYER: Help me, Lord of All, to trust in You so that a spirit of mercy will always trump any tendency to judge others. Amen.
*The Scripture Reading for each day is selected from the Revised Common Daily Lectionary used in A Disciple’s Journal – 2014 by Steven W. Manskar]