It was a chilling sight to behold.


A stern-looking policeman kneeling on the neck of a man lying sideways on the street.


The man was subdued while being arrested; videos showed him pleading for air. The policeman however, knelt on his neck until he fell unconscious.


On the way to the hospital in an ambulance, the man died due to cardiac arrest. Videos of the incident flooded the internet, sparked protests and incited violence and mayhem in the streets of the US.


Power can make a person act violently, indifferent to the sufferings of others. Someone in a position of authority can impose his will unjustly on people he believes are under his control.


How different from the portrait of God given us in the first reading today (Wisdom 12): “But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us.”


In the hands of the Lord resides all power; he is the master of all his creation; he holds the keys to life and death. And yet, the Lord does not make a display of his power.


Instead, he reveals his love, his compassion, his mercy…


This is what makes God’s discipline different, credible and truly just. He disciplines not so much as to punish people capriciously. He disciplines so that people can change, redeem themselves and find their way to his love.


In dealing with us, with all our sins, failings and weaknesses, the Lord uses the medicine of mercy, not the remedy of severity and fear.


Many people turned their backs on their faith because they grew up thinking of God as an angry judge, a heartless policeman, or an unfeeling parent.


The Lord Jesus, in the parable today, tells us that the Lord looks at things differently (Mt. 13: 24-30). He treats the wheat and the weeds in the same way, allowing both to grow.


By saying this, he answers the puzzle in some people’s minds: why does God allow evil people to thrive on this earth? Why does he not eradicate them all and leave behind only the good ones?


Our God is a loving Father – full of patience, full of mercy, full of hope. He is patient with everyone because he gives each one a chance to desire and to pursue a new life.


Is this the face of God you know, or is it time to know him as he truly is?


Before this God, we can only respond with humility, with gratitude and with open hearts.