"Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance?" Mi 7:18
God seems always to be looking for ways to show us mercy, to forgive our transgressions and lure us back from our sordid ways. When God finds a remnant, a few believers, who despite suffering the loss of family, friends, land and hope, remain faithful to the law and the prophets, God looks at everyone differently. When, for example, the Jewish community was dragged into exile, their ability to live the law was compromised, and some, trying to survive, turned away from God's path. But because others, a remnant, continued to worship, study the Torah and live faith filled lives, God forgives the entire nation.
Abraham is the first person in the Bible who helps us understand God's mercy. Anxious that God is about to destroy the entire city of Sodom for their sins, Abraham asks God to spare the city, especially its just citizens, if he can find fifty God fearing people, and God relents. Emboldened by God's kindness, and very conscious that his nephew Lot lives in Sodom, Abraham keeps pushing. Would God spare Sodom for forty five good people, for forty, for twenty, for ten? Yes, God says, if I can find ten righteous people in Sodom, I will not destroy the city. Finally, God leaves and Abraham returns to his own city content that Sodom, and his nephew Lot's family, will be spared.
Are we as generous as God? Are we looking for the good people in our society or are we obsessed with people's faults and sins? Are we judgmental of others to protect ourselves or do we seek to know about others good actions in order not to judge them? As Lent continues, these are good questions and can lead us to live God's mercy towards others in the same way God has loved us.
Today, look for the good in members of your own family or community and praise them.
Have you experienced God's generous mercy more than once?