In my many encounters with young people, I am always asked the question – Do you believe in reincarnation? Reincarnation. In case you have not heard the word – Reincarnation is the belief that when you die, you go to a higher level of life or a lower level of life, depending on how you were on this earth. If you are bad, you can become a beast. If you are good, you can become a higher form of being in the next life. In other words, you are reincarnated as a stone, as a human being, as a higher person, as a king and so on and so forth.
So back to the question – Do you believe in reincarnation? The answer, my dear brothers and sisters, for all Christians is no.
No, I don’t believe in reincarnation because I believe in the Mercy of God. Reincarnation is contrary to the teaching of the Mercy of God. Why? Because reincarnation is based on retribution. You make up, you repair the harm that you have done. You restore what has been damaged after this life. So you make penance, you offer, and you are punished. This is the principle, the belief of retribution. Why is retribution not Christian? Because the teaching of the Lord for us today is – You hurt me? Yes, you must pay for it. But instead of asking you to pay for it. I have paid for it. It is like eating in a five-star restaurant and splurging in nice food and then you have nothing to pay. You’re supposed to be sent to jail and then the owner of the restaurant says – I have paid for it even though it was a loss, even if I was fooled. That is the mercy of God and reincarnation is contrary to it. Because reincarnation says you pay for what you have done. Reincarnation says you suffer for what you have done. Reincarnation says you will retribute, you will restore what you have done. And it is actually very practical. It is understandable. In fact, it is very logical. What you eat, you pay for. What you damaged, you restore. That is just. It is practical. It is reasonable. It is also understandable. If reincarnation is understandable and practical and reasonable, the opposite is this. The Mercy of God is impractical. The Mercy of God is irrational. The Mercy of God cannot be understood because the Mercy of God is a mystery.
My dear brothers and sisters, God does not send us to hell. Our sins send us to hell. It is we because God in the Gospel says – Everything I have to do, I have done. Everything I must give, I have given, including my only begotten Son. So, if people go to hell, it is not because I have held back. If people go to hell, it is not because I was lacking in my love. If people go to hell, it is because they have condemned themselves into it. They have condemned themselves into it because on my part, I have given everything necessary to for them to go to Heaven. Reincarnation does not believe in God’s Mercy. It chooses to be practical, to be reasonable and understandable. So, what is the lesson for us today on the fourth Sunday of Lent?
Number one – The face of God is Mercy. The nature of God is Mercy. And the second is because you have received mercy, just believe. You will not be able to understand it by logic because the Mercy of God has its own logic that even human philosophy cannot understand. The Mercy of God has its own logic. The Mercy of God has its own reason. And the reason is – I am God and that’s my nature. The third lesson, my dear brothers and sisters, is do not be afraid to receive it. And do not be afraid to be merciful. Do not be afraid that in choosing to be merciful, you will be fooled. In choosing to be merciful, you will be irrational. Sometimes we are asked, how long will we forgive? It is true. Sometimes that question is based on a noble purpose. And we want to defend the glory of God that is why we demand justice, we demand truth. But very often, my dear brothers and sisters, it is also borne from pride, from self-conceit, from being frugal, from being thrifty, from being stingy in the Mercy of God. God has given you Mercy in overflowing measure – He gave you His only begotten Son. It is okay if you are stingy with money. It is okay if you are not generous in giving gifts. But is not okay to be stingy with mercy. Because mercy serves as our ID. Mercy is our nature. It is in our mercy for one another that we will be measured by God one day.