"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68



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Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Saint Jerome (347-420), priest, translator of the Bible, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the prophet Joel; PL 25, 967

Jesus calls the cities of Galilee to conversion

      â€śThe Lord is gracious and merciful” and prefers the conversion of a sinner rather than his death (Jl 2:13). “Patient and generous in his mercy”, he does not give in to human impatience but is willing to wait a long time for our repentance. So extraordinary is the Lord’s mercy in the face of evil, that if we do penance for our sins, he regrets his own threat and does not carry out against us the sanctions he had threatened. So by the changing of our attitude, he himself is changed…

      In like manner, given all that the prophet has said above – that God is kind and merciful, patient, generous with his forgiveness, and extraordinary in his mercy toward evil – lest the magnitude of his clemency make us lax and negligent, he adds this word, “Who knows whether he will not turn and repent and leave behind him a blessing?” (v. 14) In other words, he says, “I exhort you to repentance, because it is my duty, and I know that God is inexhaustibly merciful, as David says, “Have mercy on me, God, according to your great mercy, and in the depths of your compassion, blot out all my iniquities” (Ps 50:3). But since we cannot know the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and knowledge of God (Rm 11:33), I will temper my statement, expressing a wish rather than taking anything for granted, and I will say, “Who knows whether he will not turn and repent?” Since he says, “Who”, it must be understood that it is not possible to know absolutely for sure.



 
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