God the Punisher?

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Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13 brings us more parables from Jesus - one about a mustard seed and the other about yeast. 

In the first reading from Exodus 32 Moses comes down off the mountain with the Ten Commandments, only to find that the people had fashioned for themselves a golden calf and were worshiping it. (For a bit of levity, read Aaron's explanation about how this happened.) Needless to say, God was not pleased. Moses intercedes for the people, and he and the LORD come to an understanding. The LORD says, "When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin."

This brings up an interesting question: Is God a God of punishment? Clearly from this passage, God would mete out punishment to the culprits. But does that still happen today? I suspect there are many who would say no - God is all loving and merciful; He would never punish one of his own. In fact, I'm certain that there are those who would be offended at the very idea that God punishes people. But I believe that God is a God of mercy and justice. He is a loving Father. What good father would not punish his children when they willfully disobey? God loves us enough to give us correction, lessons and yes, punishment.

Father, forgive us when we offend you. Help us to repent and to accept your just punishment. Amen.

Today's Readings

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