Mercy Or Justice For Other?
The other day, I came across a story about a young man who was a general trader. So the time for Covid provided a very good opportunity for him to trade. He realized some items, like the medicine for the group that is high risk, were going to run out. So he went round purchasing all the medicines and syringes, at low prices. When there was none left, he started selling the same at a price many times the price he bought, just a few yards away.
There was a sick lady he had met while mopping up the medicine. She didn’t have any medicine left. She pleaded with him to allow her to buy some of the medicine. He refused. She later came to the place where he was trading. And managed to buy the same medicine from him at many times the price. She didn’t not even have the last 20 cents. The guy insisted that he had to be paid. She found the coins, paid and left. She was shocked at his shrewdness.
Just when he had finished selling everything, he was called by his mom. She was very ill. She didn’t have medicine. And guess what? It was the same medicine he had sold to the lady that was now out of stock. Just when he was wondering what to do with the mum, the same lady he had exploited walked in, to check on him mum, and see whether she had enough medicine, since they were friends and suffering from the same condition. She had to give the same medicine she had bought so expensively, to her friend, the mother of the seller!
The man was shocked. He wanted to refund her. She refused. She asked him to change his behavior instead. He did. Mercy and Justice together. Mercy to sick lady and justice by teaching the young man a lesson. Mercy, therefore does not mean absence of justice.
Zechariah 7:8-10 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’”
During these times, most of us are having scarcity mentality. We want to buy more and store. Or take whatever we have found ourselves with that is in high demand, and increase the price, in the name of trading. We say that the tide has turned to our favor, so we have to exploit it. The result is that, things get very expensive.
St Pope Gregory the great said “When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice".
Its interesting to see the way we had all stocked up, yet we have lacked nothing in the supermarkets. Its however interesting to see the increase in the cost of health related things, even though the cost of production has remained the same. Its interesting to see the people who have lost their jobs from companies anticipating decrease in income. This really hurts the little ones.
When jesus comes, he will tell the good, I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave water, naked and you clothed me, and they will ask, when were you hungry and I gave you food, when were you thirsty and I gave you water, when were you naked and I gave you clothes? And he said, whatever you did to one of the little ones, you do it for me. The opposite will apply to those who showed no mercy.
Little here refers to weaker, either kids, or weaker in faith, or weaker financially, or junior at work. Any form of 'smallness', when you do anything for them, or to them, you do to Jesus.
So, let's remember the day when Jesus comes and be merciful. Remember our being merciful to them, is just giving to the little ones what the society has taken from them.
Whenever mercy is served to one, justice too is served. Mercy, is not absence of justice.