Towards a more reasonable kind of mercy

Practically, the problem with letting mercy be the default is that non-repentant wrongdoers may abuse the kindness of the merciful. However, we can draw inspiration from how mercy is always presented with justice; as if they are two sides of the same coin. The rational mind is to justice as the emotional heart is to mercy.

What I like about how Jesus manifests mercy is that it is done to enliven the benevolent spirit underlying traditions and norms, which unfortunately may have been more oppressive and discriminatory rather than emancipating and liberating. The Pharisees and the hypocrites settle on technicalities and traditions that disable tax collectors (which are defaultly seen in a negative light) from becoming better persons.

In a way, mercy in this context corrects the injustices stemming from misinterpretations or misapplications of traditions. Moreover, mercy in this context actually enables justice and fairness, in a way that provides opportunities for the truly repentant (but burdened with negative reputations) to turn over a new leaf.

Thus, the challenge for us is not merely to view mercy through the lens of emotional pity. There is potential to synthesize both the rational and emotional in imbibing a more reasonable kind of mercy that enables flourishing.

Justice and mercy are indeed two sides of the same coin, in the same way that our mind and heart are two sides of our person.


Matthew 9:9-13. I desire mercy

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 182: JULY 1, 2022]

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