the readings, I encountered one of my favorite -- and most challenging -- passages in the gospel. This text on mercy fits my new year's "mercy theme" and lives where I do.
It is helpful to be reminded that living with forgiveness really isn't enough. The state of mercy is not only a reactive state. Mercy is also proactive. It is not enough to forgive those who have "wronged me," I am called to "love your (my) enemies" and "pray for those who persecute you (me)." It gets tougher: I am called to "offer no resistance to one who is evil."
Even in Leviticus, we the faithful were exhorted to "bear no hatred" for our brother and sister; and of course to "Love your neighbor as yourself."
There is a parallel to today's gospel from Matthew in Luke (6:27-38) and I have always particularly loved this ending section of the passage:
Give and gifts will be given to you;
A good measure, packed down, shaken together and overflowing
will be poured into your lap;
For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. (6:38)
It's such a hopeful passage! Give and it will be given to you! And so easy to forget the instructions that come before it: Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, judge not, lest you be judged.
What is the "measure" with which I measure? Is it a measure of generosity? Is it a measure of forgiveness? Is is a measure of proactive mercy?
That is surely the measure I need poured into my lap, one of generosity and non-judgmental-ism and
forgiveness. Food for thought!
I'll let Mother Theresa finish the thought: