(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.”
Mercy Begets Mercy
It is so much easier to see the mistakes of others than our own. We are quick to criticize others and are so slow in admitting our own faults. A beautiful poem by an anonymous poet goes.
“Oho!” said the pot to the kettle;
“Not so! Not so!” kettle said to the pot;
“You are dirty and ugly and black!
“Tis your own dirty image you see,
Sure no one would think you were metal,
For I am so clean – without blemish
Except when you’re given a crack.” or blot
That your blackness is mirrored in me.”
The season of Lent is time for self-examination. That is what the Daniel in our first reading does. He makes a confession of the sins of his people. Like Daniel we have to knee before God and beg for forgiveness and mercy.
But so that the Lord may heed our plea for mercy, we must have merciful hearts, too. Indeed, we pray that Our Father may forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us! We say to God, “Lord, if I do not forgive those who are wronged me, I do not deserve to be forgiven too.” If we beg for mercy we must be ready to give mercy as well. Mercy begets mercy.