On the one hand we have: ‘…he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons.’
On the other hand we have Jesus telling the convicted thief: ‘This day you shall be with me in paradise.’
In the former we have the hope of the perennially persecuted. The hope of the tormented in Auschwitz. The hope of the humiliated in the Gulag. The hope of the raped, beaten, and beheaded in the path of Isis. The hope of the victim in the human person, born or unborn, who is dehumanized and treated like meat, or like a number, to be disposed of as a waste product. In their cry to heaven they plead to the God of Justice to cleanse the Temple of his Creation of eugenicists, demagogues, tyrants, terrorists, and the purveyors of the culture of death.
In the latter we have the repentant cry of the perpetrator. The repentant cry of every single one of us! The repentant cry of good and bad thieves–thieves nonetheless. The repentant cry of men, women, young, old, of every race, every ethnicity, every creed, every continent, every socioeconomic status, every ideology, every era, everyone a sinner in need of the Merciful Savior.
As Jesus hung on the Cross dying, His Merciful arms spread wide, He stated: ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.’ His Justice turned the tables on the Devil and smashed the greatest barrier to heaven in death. His Mercy, moreover, floods the world every day in Scripture, Tradition, Sacrament, and prayerful charity, welcoming sinners in, and through, His Sorrowful Passion, into His Life as children of God becoming saints in His Mercy.
His hands are always open. Entering into His Life in faith, hope, and charity we become these very hands of Mercy. In doing so, we are Justice Incarnate.