“John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were willing to enjoy his light. But I have greater evidence than that of John—the works which the Father entrusted to me to carry out. The very works I do bear witness: the Father has sent me. Thus he who bears witness to me is the Father who sent me. You have never heard his voice and have never seen his likeness; therefore, as long as you do not believe his messenger, his word is not in you.
“You search in the Scriptures, thinking that in them you will find life; yet Scripture bears witness to me. But you refuse to come to me, that you may live. I am not seeking human praise; but I know that the love of God is not within you, for I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me. If another comes in his own name, you will accept him. As long as you seek praise from one another, instead of seeking the glory which comes from the only God, how can you believe?“
Yahweh changed his mind!
No sooner had Israel entered into a Covenant with Yahweh than they turned away from the terms and conditions of the Covenant! Yahweh complains that the Israelites were a stiff necked people. The story of Israel is a story of infidelity to their covenant with Yahweh! Yet every time they would confess their sins and repent the Lord would forgive them. Always the mercy of God takes precedence over his justice. Indeed, mercy is the justice of God!
But even as the Lord is merciful yet does he desire that man, the sinner begs for his mercy. Thus, Moses, intercedes for the Israelites. Moses sort of “reminds“ God of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And Yahweh “changed his mind“ in response to the prayer of Moses! What a God we have! We have a merciful God who listens to the intercession of the good for the sake of the evil!
How praiseworthy then is our prayer for sinners. So often sinners may not know the evil they do, or they may lack the strength to change. But if there are people like Moses who pray for sinners, God’s mercy is poured out on sinners. Such was the prayer and tears of St. Monica for her son, St. Augustine! Were it not for the prayers of St. Monica we would not have a St. Augustine. I am sure we have people in mind who need to be converted. We could pray, “Lord be merciful to __________. Amen.“