“Terror on every side! Let us denounce him!” whispers our enemies as we call on God to shame them and ask that we may witness the vengeance the Lord takes on them. We call on the Lord for protection from our enemies in both the 1st reading and the Psalm.
Asking God for protection from our enemies is one thing, asking Him that we witness the Lord’s vengeance on them seems unchristian and disturbing, especially when we acknowledge who our enemies are: Satan, the world, and ourselves. Yes, ourselves. We are the primary drivers of sinful behavior in our own lives and our own worst enemy. That whispering in our heads encouraging us to sin – that’s us! Do we truly want to witness the vengeance the Lord takes on our enemies – including us?
However, if we view vengeance as proper justice taken for sinful behavior, perhaps it becomes clearer. God became man as Jesus makes clear in today’s Gospel. Christ confirms that He is the Son of God and declares “the Father is in me, and I am in the Father”. The Jews at the time certainly had a clear understanding that Jesus claimed divinity! We, and those in today’s readings, call for vengeance, but do we truly want to witness the Lord’s justice?
Well, what if I told you we already have, and continue to, witness God’s justice! We witness and memorialize the Lord’s justice at each and every Mass in the sacrifice of the Eucharist! Jesus in His humanity generously took on all our sins, and the sins of our enemies, in His passion and resurrection!!! In this light, when we declare that we want to witness the Lord’s justice on our enemies, it is certainly not unchristian, in fact, it is the MOST Christian thing we do as we celebrate the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith as Christians! And the sacrifice of the Mass is our highest form of worship! Let us thank the Lord for our witness to His great Love in taking on our sins and rendering His right Justice for all to see!