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Gospel Reading: Lk 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
The Gospel enumerates several ways to be merciful: to stop judging and condemning others, to forgive and give generously. The heavenly Father is the best example of how to be merciful. In self-revelation, God proclaims to Moses, “The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity” (Ex 34:6).
This becomes concrete in the person of Jesus who, in Luke, brings the good news to the poor (4:18), heals the sick and expels demons (4:38-41; 5:12-26), forgives sinners (5:32; 15:11-32), and opens the Kingdom of God to all, even sinners (19:10; 23:43).
Judging others is a way of making ourselves feel better than others. It is actually a façade to cover up our own weaknesses. Condemning is even worse because it gives the other person no opportunity to rise from misery.
The exhortation to “forgive” is followed by “give.” Forgiveness should be overflowing, as shown by Jesus himself.
Our actions and words always have an effect, not only on others but also on us. It is the gauge by which we will be judged by our heavenly Father.
“Fasting is the soul of prayer; mercy is the lifeblood of fasting” (St. Peter Chrysologus).
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.