Luke 6: 36-38
Dn 9: 4b-10 / Psa 79:8,9,11,13
For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.
The good in others do not discount,
Better to praise than to criticize;
Take heed, we shall be called to account
At the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.
(Jesus said), “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 and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)
After teaching His disciples how to treat their enemies, Jesus next taught them how to respond to their own friends who have offended them or behaved wrongfully. And His message consisted of: mercy, forgiveness, generosity and discernment. This last is important to prevent us from being judgmental. To be able to reject all kinds of injustice and unrighteousness, we must learn instead how to be discerning of what is good and evil. Through faith in God’s justice, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to determine what is right and wrong. Then we can teach, encourage and rebuke with authority. But it is always in humble supplication and a heart that is predisposed to mercy that we will receive this gift of sound judgment. Jesus told His disciples, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I am sorry,’ forgive him.” (Lk.17:3-4) We must never tolerate what is wrong, but we must always be predisposed to forgive, even the unrepentant wrongdoer.
“Give, and it will be given to you.” Jesus encourages us to be always on the debit side of things, and never to claim back what we have already lost or given away. They will always come back with a bigger margin of profit. Nothing is more profitable than investing our treasure in heaven, which will guarantee eternal happiness. Only the short-sighted cling to their wealth here on earth. This applies to tithing as well. We noted that the members who are most active in the community, happiest in their ministries, and seem to be most successful in their families, careers and relationships are the ones who are most generous in the giving of tithes. The gifts that our Divine Providence showers us come in various forms: a happy marriage, obedient children, a stable business, physical fitness and freedom from sickness, a discerning mind, talents and abilites… the list can go on and on. But the one gift that gives us real joy because it reflects God’s compassionate nature is the gift of GENEROSITY. Blessed indeed are the Select who have been so favored by this gift. They are the happiest among God’s children.
Have a merciful heart, rather than a judgmental one; forgive rather than condemn; and give of ourselves with compassion, without counting the cost. If we can do these, then our merciful and forgiving Father in heaven will pour out His immeasurable generosity into our life. This is our Lord’s firm and dependable promise.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching us that there is only one standard by which we can judge others, and that is by judging our own motives. Do not let what we hear or see in the world be our basis when we decide. Help us instead to be able to discern by listening to our heart, where we want You to reside. Amen.