February 26, 2018

Feb. 26

February 26, 2018:  Monday, 2nd week, Lent

  • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  Yours, Lord, are compassion and forgiveness! (1st reading); Be merciful like your Father (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We the sheep of your pasture will give thanks..." (psalm)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "The measure you measure will be measured to you." (gospel)
  • White shirt, socks:  Yesterday's Transfiguration gospel
  • Purple tie and suspenders:  Lenten season
Pope Francis homily
“Don't judge and you won't be judged.”  None of us can escape God’s judgment; we'll all be judged, personally and universally.  This reality helps the Church reflect on its behavior toward one another and God.  This is an invitation to renewal.
Beyond not judging, we're called to forgive.  Each of us might think: ‘But I never judge, I don’t make myself a judge.’ ”  Examine your conscience.  When I've been at a meeting, or meal, how many minutes have I spent judging others?  The Lord is the only judge.  We're invited to be merciful with others as the Lord will be merciful to us.  God’s justice is mercy.  To receive God’s mercy, we must be humble, recognizing we're sinners.  When we meet God’s justice with our own shame, we find forgiveness.

  • Dn 9:4b-10 “Lord, we've sinned, but compassion and forgiveness are yours!”
  • Ps 79:8-9, 11, 13 "Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins." O God, help us, deliver us, and pardon our sins; then we'll will give thanks and praise you.
  • Lk 6:36-38 Be merciful like your Father. Stop judging, stop condemning, forgive, and give; the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
  • Creighton:  What's my relationship with God and people in my life?  Do I value these relationships?  How do I show my gratitude?  Why am I quick to judge and criticize?  I 'judge' others to soothe my own sense of failure, reaffirm my importance, and regain a sense of control.  But as God loves me in all my imperfection, I need to share that love in times of others' imperfection.  Thank God for his and others' forgiveness of me.  May I similarly show others such care, compassion, and love.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "More or less?":  In Jesus' time people wore ankle-length robes and sowed seeds by going to the pile, grabbing their hem at the knees, pulling it up toward their waist to make a pocket to pour seed into, carrying the seeds into the field, and sowing till the pocket was empty, then repeating.  Jesus promised that givers will receive in "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, into the fold of" their garment.  If we give to Jesus, we'll receive more work to do but also more resources to serve him with, resulting in a great harvest.  May we work for Jesus more than ever; he yearns for all to be saved.  He longs to gather his estranged children.  "The fields are shining for harvest!"  "Do whatever He tells you."
  • Passionist:  Some people just can’t be happy with who they are.  Others need to be against the pope, the president, their boss, a coworker, their spouse, or others.  Why?  How can a follower of Jesus be so angry, even hateful?  What does it say about us when we can’t find good in those we're against?  What does it say about those who spend their energy being against?  May we fill our hearts with love....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Be merciful like your Father":  Jesus took our sins on himself so we could receive pardon, freedom, and healing.  God's mercies never cease, but anger, resentment, and unwillingness to forgive can keep us from receiving his mercy and healing.  The Lord offers us freedom to walk in his way of love and forgiveness, mercy and goodness.  We are called to be merciful as our heavenly Father has been merciful to us.  Do you quickly forgive those who wrong you or cause pain?  Daniel prayed daily for his people, and his persecutors.  He was 'shamefaced' because of his people's sins and unfaithfulness, but instead of judging them, he begged God for compassion, pardon, and restoration. Our shame will turn to joy and hope if we confess our sin and ask for God's love and mercy.
"We judge with mixed motives, impure hearts, and prejudiced minds.  "Don't judge unjustly, so that you may not be judged" is like "Forgive, and it will be forgiven you."  One who has judged with justice should forgive in accordance with grace, so that when he's judged with justice, he may receive forgiveness through grace. Don't seek vengeance or condemn from appearances or opinion, but admonish and advise" (Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Tatian's Diatessaron 6.18B, paraphrased).
True Christians show grace, treating others as God wishes them treated, with forbearance, mercy, and kindness.  God shows his goodness and love to all, always seeking what's best for each of us and teaching us to seek others' good.  We must show others the kindness and mercy God has shown us.  Our prayer for those who do us ill breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love.  God gives us power and grace to love those who harm us; he works in and through us by his Spirit, to purify us and help us do the right.  God's love conquers our hurts, fears, and prejudices; it can heal, restore, and transform us.  Only Christ's cross and victory can free us from hatred, revenge, and resentment and give us courage to overcome evil with good.

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