Be merciful... do not judge...
Something to think about
Many of us have been heart-broken when we took part in or watched the commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust a few years ago.
In recent years, I have visited Yad Vashem, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Sachsenhausen, and the ghettoes in Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Bratislava, Venice and other cities.
It is difficult at times to reconcile memories of the Holocaust with the words of Christ in this morning’s Gospel reading: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven’ (Luke 6:36-37).
But as I took part in these commemorations, I was reminded of the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller, whose cell I visited in Sachsenhausen:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.