From the 1st reading (Ezekiel 18.21-28) we may feel fear and some sense of injustice as salvation seems easier for the wicked who turns away from sin than a righteous who turns away from righteousness. God also casts a question on his ways being fair or unfair in human’s eyes.
A popular line from the movie Spiderman captures this best:
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Much is expected from someone who has more. The “righteous” ones had the earlier discovery of God and the path to righteousness and turning away from it is a conscious and deliberate decision. Whereas, the wicked who has been lost and caught up in evilness didn’t know much about God and his discovery of the path to righteousness is a milestone and feat of its own.
The sense of “fairness” is relative to the vantage point of the person impacted. What seems fair to one, may be unfair to another. It is our personal responsibility to discern according to our formed conscience which is guided by faith. God is always a fair and reasonable God. Who are we to question His ways? The more important question to ask is “Have we fully done our part?”.
The Gospel (Matthew 5.20-26) touches on this as it sends a message of accountability for all our actions, words and thoughts. While there is a reputation or “norms” that we try to uphold and the more glaring sins like murder are more causes of concern, much is expected from us. It is our responsibility to guard our thoughts, as much as we guard our words. Our actions are reflections of our thoughts and saying one thing and doing another, also says something about our character. We may claim to worship God and do a lot of things as “signs” of our service but if we do not resolve our issues with our enemies and choose to disrespect others, we are not capable of fully serving God. To love and serve God is a greater responsibility that transcends our thoughts, words and actions; it goes beyond ourselves and moves towards the greater welfare of others.