Monday, 2nd Week of Lent: Be Merciful


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 you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Lk 6,36-38

Jesus teaches his disciples on a mountain in Matthew’s gospel. In Luke’s gospel, read today, Jesus prays on a mountain, then descends to the plain to call his disciples to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Jesus, like his Father, is our merciful Savior. Mercy is recalled in most of our readings this week of Lent.

Mercy is a gift that goes beyond judgment or condemnation. The father of the prodigal son neither judges of condemns his son. He takes nothing away from him. Instead, he calls for a bountiful feast. “Bring a robe–the best one–and put it on him, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.” God’s mercy is like that, surprising, not bound by caution, boundless.

Lent and Easter are seasons of mercy. I think of the founder of my community, St. Paul of the Cross, who preached in the small towns of the Tuscan Maremma in this season. Poverty was pervasive in that area then and it made people wary of each other. Feuds, quarrels and vendettas were common in the small mountain towns. They needed reminding of God’s mercy.

It’s said that Paul would often  carry a cross into a deeply divided home and beg family members to forgive one another or their enemies next door in the name of Jesus Christ. A forgiving God asked them to forgive.  

Lord,

let me see in myself 

the same human frailty, selfishness and sinfulness that I see in others. 

Let me be merciful

with the mercy that I see in you.

2 thoughts on “Monday, 2nd Week of Lent: Be Merciful

  1. cenaclemary12

    Be compassionate… in a different translation. Can I feel the suffering of another? relate to their burden or lift up the cross of another? Will my mercy towards someone take my time or my money? How much am I willing to show mercy?
    ” Feuds, quarrels and vendettas were common in the small mountain towns.” where Paul ministered. Seems like a description of our unrest today as we see the news.

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  2. Liz

    “Feuds, quarrels and vendettas were common in the small mountain towns.” where Paul ministered. Seems like a description of our unrest today as we see the news. We are quick to place blame, judge the actions or non-actions of officials. jump to conclusions about the current health emergency. A book titled, “The Meanest Man in Texas” tells the story of murderer Clyde Thompson who was facing execution but then had his sentence commuted to life in prison. After his time as prisoner included a murder, he was confined to solitary. The only thing he was allowed to have was a Bible. Can you guess what happened? His soul was awakened to God’s mercy, He began studies, changed his meanness to ministry and eventually was paroled. He had a new measure of mercy.

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