A thought by Fr. George Montague, S.M.:
- The pagan world of Biblical times showed little concern for mercy. Two groups especially suffered–slaves and children. Slaves were considered tools, and masters had the right to kill them as they wished. Unwanted infants were left to die of exposure, particularly girls. And, as happens even today in some countries, unwanted children could be picked up for the “slave trade” or deliberately maimed and used by racketeers to beg. The modern world flinches at such accounts, then abets them by legalized abortion. Our mercy, like that of our pagan forebears, is selective.
(from Montague, George T. Companion God: A Cross-Cultural Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989. p. 60.)