March 13, 2017
Monday of the Second Week in Lent
The Gospel Today
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.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Eldrick S. Peña)
Today’s Gospel shows us the perfection of the Father – that He cannot not be merciful. Our post-modern world would associate mercy with weakness, with vulnerability, but it is what our reading is challenging us to be – to be merciful just as our Father is merciful. The bible is full of stories of God’s merciful love. In spite of the repeated sins and transgression of the Israelites, the Father still continued to be merciful to them; guiding them and sending prophets to lead them.
Eventually, the Father sent Christ, Himself, as the greatest expression of His mercy for mankind. Because of His love for us, He offered the life of His own Son as expiation for our sins. The Father’s merciful love also reminds us that everyone is in need of mercy – that all of us have fallen short before God. Recognizing this one fact, that we are all wounded, it would not be difficult to understand and feel compassion towards others who might be in difficult situation, needing much of our love and attention.
The invitation therefore is to always be loving which is closely associated with being merciful. If we become more loving, we become more concerned of the “other” rather than ourselves and that is what mercy is all about – to put oneself in the other’s shoes that he will know where the other person is coming from.
Furthermore, being merciful is an opportunity to share in the Divine life of God, to possess one of His attributes. Having received much love and mercy from the Father, are we not also supposed to show much mercy and love to our brethren? AMEN.