I was simply gripped by the so-called “man hunt” yesterday. I stayed in my office and listened to the police scanner throughout the evening, watching news organizations tweet conflicting reports about the status of a young man named Dzhokar Tsarnaev. I’m proud of our law enforcement and everyone who helped prevent more violence.
I don’t consider myself to be a particularly compassionate person, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus’ teachings, Pope Francis, and Mother Teresa as I’ve watched some Christians call out for the US to go “Jack Bauer” on Dzhokar and torture him, and others tweet incendiary things.
What does it mean to be Catholic if we aren’t known for our mercy?
I’m haunted by the parable of the unforgiving servant. A man is forgiven a debt he could never pay back, and a few minutes later begins choking another for a much smaller sum. He didn’t get it. We are shown mercy for our sins against God through his Son’s death on the cross and in the sacraments. Can we show mercy towards this man?
I’m not against justice, I’m not against just war, I’m against the. . . hatred. Will you think hard about whether he should be stripped of his Miranda rights (is there really a clear danger ahead)? Will you protest a death sentence? Will you pray for his soul, and for that of his brother?
Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.