We humans think that mercy and justice are opposites, but that is not true of God. The Responsorial Psalm tells us that the Lord is both merciful and just. We see his mercy and generosity emphasized in the lessons for today.
The prophet Isaiah delivers God’s invitation to the hungry and thirsty, “Come, without paying and without cost.” We see this fulfilled in the Feeding of the Five Thousand, when Jesus “moved with pity” fed the crowd who had followed him. He still feeds us, and with even better food in the Eucharist, when we receive his Body and Blood. In addition, St. Paul assures us that nothing in all creation “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Such kindness from God calls for a generous response on our part, the response of a grateful heart. As stewards responsible to the Lord for the use of the time, talent, and treasure entrusted to us, we need to heed the Lord’s word so we can obey his will. When we do so, we find that when we give back to God, we receive even more spiritual riches.