Sunday, May 1, 2016

No Longer Two but One

In a diocesan bulletin, the writer tells us a warm story of a recently  young married  couple. The wife went visiting the home of a neighbor, while in the room, she saw a pearl ring on the dressing table and overcome with its beauty, and the temptation to possess so strong, she  took the ring.

Next day seeing the ring missing from the dressing table, the neighbor, knew immediately it must have been the young woman, and quickly went to her house. Screaming she told the women to give her the ring.  She denied that she took the ring. Her neighbor told her no one was in that room except for her family: "You are lying,"  she rebuked her.

The neighbor notified the police of the theft. In the meantime, the husband coming home from work heard of what happened. "My wife is not that kind of person. Why are you falsely accusing my wife? I believe my wife, Please leave." Hearing the words of the  husband, the police and neighbor had no choice but to leave the house. The husband attempted to placate his wife.  

That night after his wife went to sleep, he found the ring in the bathroom table draw, and immediately went to the neighbor with the ring. He knelt down before the woman and asked for forgiveness. "My wife was not able to overcome the temptation to possess the ring and committed a great fault. My wife and I are one in mind and body, so I will take the punishment that you want. Seeing the great love the husband had for his wife, she sent him back to the house without a word.

Unbeknown to the husband the wife followed her husband and saw what he did and overcome, started to cry uncontrollably. The next day the wife at the break of day went over to the woman's house and with great sorrow asked for forgiveness.

The neighbor took the woman's hand warmly and said: " I envy  you." The husband's actions moved both his wife and the neighbor's wife to see beyond what was done to new possibilities.

In the year of mercy we hear many of these stories and are moved, but at  the same time we know it is far from the reality in which we live. Mercy does not cancel out justice but shows us justice even more clearly.

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