No Striking Out!

“Their name never cut off.” Isaiah 48:19

One strike. Two strikes. Three strikes – you’re out! You only get three strikes in baseball then you are out.

There was a man who had different kinds of strikes against him. There were too many to count and some of them were really horrible like killing another human being. Because of the laws he had broken and the suffering he caused, it was time to cut him off. His sentence was to be hanged on a tree. You could say that he struck out.

There was another man, full of grace, who came for the man who struck out. He was unlike any other man. He did not believe in strike outs. He would never say, “Three strikes and you’re out!” He would never say, “A million strikes and you are out.” He would never cut you off. Yes, you could cut him off but he would never cut you off. When you did strike out and hurt others all he asked that you would come back in sorrow. If you did that you would not be cut off and your strikes would be taken away.

Here’s the story about these two men. They were hanging on crosses next to each other in the middle of being executed. The man who had countless strikes against him saw something powerful in the man who had no strikes against him. In sorrow, the man who had hurt and even killed others reached out to the man who would never cut off anyone, “Jesus, Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The man who would never let anyone strike out replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What assurance! No one strikes out with Jesus. Just come back to him in sorrow. He is Mercy, within Mercy, within Mercy.

Let us pray: “They struck you, Jesus. They struck your back 39 times with metal hooks and glass and ripped your flesh apart like you were a piece of meat. You went through all of that and so much more to show us that there are no strike outs with you. Human beings only allow so many strikes and then you are out. But not you. You have a no strike out rule. All we have to do is come back in sorrow. Now, I come back i sorrow to you. And please, help me to live by your no strike out rule for others. Amen.”

+Fr. John


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