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Friday, March 6, 2009

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Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130
Matthew 5:20-26

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unfair?

"You say, 'The Lord's way is not fair!' Hear now, house of Israel: Is it My way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?" —Ezekiel 18:25

God, the perfectly just One, is often accused of not being fair by us who have done so many injustices. Evil people seem to get away with murder and even prosper (Mal 3:15), while good people suffer tragedy. It doesn't seem fair.

The Lord gives those who have worked for a few minutes a full day's pay — the same as those who worked the whole day (Mt 20:11ff). Is that fair?

The son who squandered his inheritance on dissolute living was honored with special gifts and a party when he returned home (Lk 15:22-23). The older son complained that it wasn't fair (Lk 15:28ff).

One of the criminals crucified with Jesus stopped blaspheming (Mk 15:32, Lk 23:39ff) long enough to repent. Then Jesus promised to take the man with Him to paradise that day (Lk 23:43). The thief lived a "hell of a life" and immediately went to heaven while many religious leaders did not enter God's kingdom (see Mt 5:20). Is that fair?

Jesus is not fair. If He were, we'd all be condemned to hell. Because He took on Himself the punishment for all our sins, Jesus doesn't have to be fair. He can be better than fair — that is, merciful — because He paid the price to redeem us.

Prayer:  Jesus, innocent Victim and Victor, it wasn't fair that You died in my place for my sins to justify me. I thank and love You.

Promise:  "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Mt 5:23-24

Praise:  When they married, Elizabeth and James made a long-term commitment that lasted fifty years.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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