Gospel: Mk 8:11-13
The Pharisees came and started to argue with Jesus. Hoping to embarrass him, they asked for some heavenly sign. Then his spirit was moved. He gave a deep sigh and said, “Why do the people of this present time ask for a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this people.“ Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side of the lake.
“The Justice of God“
The story of Cain and Abel reveal to us the great mystery of God’s justice. When Cain kills his brother Abel, God confronts Cain with his sin. The gravity of the sin of Cain has cosmic repercussions. Even the earth rebels against the deed! Sin, all sin, cry for Divine retribution! No one can hide sin from the all-knowing God!
As Yahweh pronounces the punishment due to Cain–a fugitive–Cain cries out for mercy. He begs that his miserable life may not be taken by others. God, the most just, is also the most merciful and so decreed that He would avenge Cain should he be killed! Divine justice condemns sin; Divine justice punishes the sinner; Divine justice prohibits human vengeance. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay“ says the Lord! (Rom 12:19)
This revelation of the “justice of God“ should be our guide also in our administration of justice. In particular we can see in this biblical narrative God’s original penal code: No to “capital punishment.“ It often happens that cries for justice easily turn out to be cries for vengeance. How easily an angry man can arrogate to himself the Divine prerogative and thus commit the same crime he condemns!