Another principle of justice is “just deserts”. The principal of merit or “deserts” implies a proportionality principle. The punishment must fit the crime. Reward must reflect effort. Greater crime requires sterner punishment. Greater effort demands greater reward et cetera. The problem with that is anyone who pays attention to our political realm knows that some people love to make fun of those who achieve success based upon what they believe is their history. As one millionaire famously drawled about another millionaire “Poor George he can’t help it he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”. Or is another soon to be millionaire recently said, “you didn’t grow that business, a whole lot of other people gave you your success.”

The Gospel tends to set “deserts” on it’s head as well.  I have read someone say that justice is when you get what you deserve.  Mercy is when you don’t.