Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It is easy for us to think in terms of our justice system when we think about forgiving others; we think about guilt or innocence and punishment or making amends to society. That is not what Jesus is calling us to in today’s Gospel. He calls us to show mercy, the kind of mercy we’ve experienced from God. He tells us “Stop judging . . . Stop condemning.”
Why is it so hard for us to stop judging and condemning? Even our Church has a hard time with that. Maybe that is because we are convinced that error has no rights and must be stopped in its tracks. But who says what error is? Am I that sure that I have a lock on the truth? Jesus asks us to forgive with a full measure: “packed together, shaken down, and overflowing [that] will be poured into your lap.”
—Fr. Jim Riley, S.J. serves as assistant to the Jesuit superior at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, MI.
teach us to find new life through penance.
Keep us from sin,
and help us live by your commandments of love.
—adapted from the Roman Sacramentary
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