Last Sunday’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah reminded us that “God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.” Perhaps many of us, myself included have questioned God’s ways at times in our lives. The people in the prophet Ezekiel’s time certainly did, as our first reading this Sunday tells us ” The Lord’s way is not fair!” they complained.
Why? Because Ezekiel had relayed to them a word from the Lord regarding a previous common belief that children share in the guilt and punishment for the sins of their parents and vice versa. The lesson makes it clear that God will not punish anyone for the sins of another.” I will judge you each one according to his ways” (18:30). Within that teaching is given the message of complete forgiveness for the sinner who turns away from sins to lead a virtuous life. “None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him” (18:22).
We are reminded again that God is so much more gracious and merciful than we are, so much more willing to pardon offenses than we. Instead of complaining about the Lord’s generosity, perhaps I should question why we are so unwilling to follow his example?