Predisposed to Forgive

Luke 6: 36-38
Dn 9: 4b-10 / Psa 79

For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.
(Luke 6:38)

The good in some we may discount
If we always tend to criticize;
We all shall be called to account
At the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.

“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)

Reflection

After teaching His disciples how to treat their enemies, Jesus next taught them how to treat their own friends who have offended them or behaved wrongfully. And His message consisted of: mercy, forgiveness, generosity and discernment. First of all, our Lord cautions us not to be 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 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.

I sensed that something unpleasant must have happened when my wife Ollie came home last Thursday from her regular Mother Butler’s sewing session. She said she was considering to slow down with her production of priest’s vestments like stoles and altar tablecloths so she could have more time with her other activities. Urged to explain, she said she felt depressed because one of her stoles was tampered with in an attempt to alter her monochromatic style by stitching other colors over the design. No question it was a very unethical, if not unjustified way of “improving” the job of a co-worker, and what made Ollie feel more offended was the seeming nonchalance of her unit’s members about the incident. We both agreed that what transpired was not right, but instead of protesting and making an issue about it, the better path would simply be to forgive. Most times, it is better to be kind than to be right.

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.

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