Monday of the 2nd Week of Lent

Luke 6:36-38

Judging Others

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Jesus’ words in today’s gospel passage make us aware of our failures. They give us also direction for our examination of conscience and for our future journey as His children. Note that Jesus did not say: “Imitate my Father!” but “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” This means more than imitation. It means that God’s attitudes must become ours. His way of dealing with us must come naturally to us when we deal with others! It is an invitation to be holy. Simple as that. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Our Lord’s example of compassion and concern (pagmamalasakit) teaches that a praying Christian is not enough. We should also reach out to the many who are suffering, sorrowing and dejected.

We may not be able to work miracles like Christ did but surely we can do something in our own way to emulate His compassion in the world today. For instance, depending on our position and financial capacity, we could provide some employment or scholarship to the impoverished which maybe their only way to break away from poverty.

To certain people who are lost and confused we can spare some precious time to LISTEN – not censure or sermonize! You cannot imagine how beneficial plain listening can do to people in crisis.

Christ’s message today: “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Be merciful, stop judging and forgive. These words of Jesus are so challenging. At times we may find them very confusing. After all, should not evil be condemned? Are we supposed to just tolerate corruption, drug pushing and other injustices? It is wrong to criticize our leaders in government (or the Church for that matter) when they are plainly more concerned with their own self-interest rather than the good of the people? Why does Jesus mean?

Clearly evil should be condemned. Jesus Himself does so. He can criticize, even condemn from a truly compassionate heart, overflowing with love for all. We don’t find any personal agenda and self-interest in Him. We, on the other hand, find it very hard to judge with compassion. Our self-centeredness gets in the way of our concern for others. we react personally to what happens to us and so find it very difficult to forgive.

So what can we do? Will God withhold forgiveness from us until we can really forgive others? of course not. God’s compassion infinitely surpasses ours and he will forgive the heart open to forgiveness. But let us remember that genuine openness means that we really desire the grace to be able to forgive others. let us then appeal to God for the power to be forgiving and compassionate. And let us not forget that we have been the Holy Spirit. If we allow the Spirit to act in us, he can empower us to become the kind of gentle, caring and compassionate persons that Jesus calls us to be. (Fr. John O’Mahony, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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“I did it again! Please bear with me. I know that you have lost your trust in me. Give me another chance to change!” every year for many years I hear this mantra of remorse from my youngest brother. He should be a college graduate by now but somehow he drifts away from his promises towards the end of every semester. Nevertheless he always comes as my repentant and beloved brother who is asking for another chance.

I remember the wise saying of our dear novice master, Fr. Mildner, in the 70s. in his booming voice during lectures in mental health he would say: “…we need to change but always for the better collapses as soon as he finds a barkada. But I convinced myself to believe in my brother’s effort to change for the better. Trusting him to change for the better is a very slow process.

Lately I noticed in him some changes for the better like regularity in school, seriousness in his assignments and reviews, better communications and trustful relations. Rereading the words of Jesus on forbearance and gentleness, I know that the words really would mean, “Be merciful, so that you may have mercy shown to. Forgive, so that you maybe forgiven. As you treat others, so you will be treated. As you give, so you will receive. As you judge so you will be judge. As you are kind to others, so will be treated kindly. The measure of your giving will be the measure of your receiving.” This saying is better understood especially when interpreted in real life relationship with our own blood brothers and sisters. We all have chances to change for the better. (Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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During WW II, at the notorious prison camp in Auschwitz, Poland, a prisoner tried to escape but he was caught. In order for others not to repeat such attempt he was hanged together with his wife and 12-year old son in front of all prisoners. Since the mother was the heaviest in weight she died first, followed by the father and then the son. The son took around ten minutes to die, accompanied by violent contortions of his body because he was very light. When he was struggling at the gallows, somebody shouted at the crowd: “Where is God now?” There was silence. And then there was a response on the other side who said: “He is in that boy who is slowly dying in the gallows.”

“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” Compassion comes from the Latin word cum which means “with” and patire “to suffer.” Compassion means “to suffer with.” When we suffer, God suffers with us. We are not alone. When we love we become vulnerable and so with God. With His Son Jesus was hanging on the cross, God the Father suffered with Him because He is a compassionate God.

And now Jesus asks us to be compassionate as His Father is compassionate. A St. Paul sister, the guidance counselor of a college, told me the story of a student whose family died in car accident. She was the only survivor because she was not with them. While the student was relating what happened and unloading her pain, the sister just held her hand and cried with her. The sister did not utter a word. After the counseling the student hugged the sister and told her: “Thank you, sister for your beautiful advice.” “Man is never nearer the Divine than in His compassionate moments.” (Fr Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2008))

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A boy was with his mother in a park when he finally identified what he wanted in that area – a balloon! After looking on his favorite color, he approached his mother to ask for a little amount to make the buy. But upon reaching the area where he would get his balloon, the color he wanted was already sold to another boy. Sadly he asked the person in-charge of the balloon, “Sir, I will settle for another color, will it fly as high as the color of my choice?” with a smile on his face, the person in-charge replied, “Young boy, it is not the color that makes the balloon fly very high, but what is inside it.”

The gospel today is custom fit for the season of Lent where values such as compassion, forgiveness, mercy and the like are the common theme. It clearly exhibits that for a person to trek the journey of change for the better, it is not much about what the countenance is but what is inside us.

How can we be compassionate? How can we avoid pre-judgment of our brothers and sisters? How can we extend forgiveness to those who have wronged and offended us? All these challenging questions will be responded by us by looking inside our hearts. It is what is inside us that will make it possible to exercise true Christian spirit (Fr Felino Javines, Jr SVD Bible Diary 2013).

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….another aspect of mercy is: “Stop judging and you will not be judged.” The story is told of the man who died and came to heaven’s gate. St. Peter welcomed him with a smile. But when the newcomer saw the “saints,” he became speechless. He saw his neighbor who owed him money, the butcher who had two wives, the drunkard who was a born troublemaker, and the professor who did not go to Mass anymore, because He was an atheist. But they were all quiet. He whispered to Peter: “Why are they so quiet?” Peter whispered back: “They are stunned. They did not expect you to be here?” As they say: “Every saint has a history and every sinner has a future.”

What a beautiful world this would be, if people were more merciful and less judgmental! (Fr. Leo Schmitt SVD Bible Diary 2014)

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In Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, the lady-lawyer , Portia, pleaded for clemency before the court in behalf of her client by saying: “The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain of heaven.”

One rainy night, as padre Floro was driving back to the rectory after a clergy meeting in town, the endless chatter of his passengers distracted his driving. Too late did he realize that he could not beat the red light. Caught in an awkward position in the middle of a busy intersection he had to stop thereby blocking the traffic. As he did so, cars from all sides blasted their horns. It was not too long before a traffic officer motioned him to drive over to the side of the road.

After meekly obeying the traffic cop’s order to lower the right side window of the car the embarrassed priest handed over his driver’s license.. when he did so, the police officer who illuminated the inside of the car with his flashlight noticed the priest’s clerical shirt. After examining the documents the policeman told the much mortified priest: “Padre, I will not issue a ticket this time, but be very careful from now on.” With a deep sigh of relief of this show of mercy Padre Floro drove off promising to be merciful to his parishioners and students when they err or commit blunders.

Mercy or compassion, in the words of the Lord, is a heavenly trait. He said, “Be merciful just as my heavenly Father is merciful.” With these words he gave us the supreme commandment, yes, the very perfection of the Law from above: the law of love. It is a law that is applicable anytime, anywhere and to anyone.

Yet in any law there is the matter of justice: the right application of the law as regards the person and the circumstances. After justice comes mercy or compassion which the party declared as guilty does not deserve at all. Mercy is a gracious gift coming from and based on the infinite magnanimity of the Father whose love is beyond our imagination.

Since he himself has received mercy not only once but many times over, Padre Floro vowed to shed mercy on others like “gentle rain from heaven.” (Fr. Flor Lagura SVD Bible Diary 2015)

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PRAY THEN ACT: a few months ago, I was host to a garden party in the Cardinal’s house where the families of the cardinal’s benefactors were gathered and thanked. It was supposed to be a familiar gathering. Written invitations were sent out, including the names of the children. It so happened the typist made the mistake of sending an invitation to a family, naming only one child. Carla, to whom I gave First Communion last year, was not indicated in the envelope. She saw the envelope, and said to herself that she was not coming. So when the parents and the elder brother came, I asked: “Where is Carla?” the mother said: “Father, you forgot to put her name on the envelope.” So wanting to ease her ill-feeling, I went to the telephone and I told her: “Carla, you are included in the invitation, please come over.” She said to me over the phone: “I am not coming, Father. I already prayed to God to send down rain tonight.” She sounded so sure that her prayers will be answered. I could feel the simple pain of a child through the air waves and vibrations over the telephone. She was so sure the party would be spoiled with the rain that she had asked God to bring down on t he party.

We pray but for what do we pray and with what do we pray? Jesus prays also. That was the opening statement of the gospel. What did He pray for? I don’t know. But from the succeeding sentences you can conclude that He prayed for discernment. He prayed for wisdom to be able to make the right decision. He also acted on that prayer. Acting on our own prayers is something most of us neglect to do. We must first rpay and then act. Jesus prayed and sought the will of the Father and then later acted on it. What happens most often with us is that we act and seeing the mistakes, we start the praying so that the harm will be controlled.

Pray and then act. On the other hand, there are some of us who pray a lot for discernment but we don’t act at all.  We just keep praying. I beg the Lord for us to have those two graces. First, to put prayer before any activity. Second, to put action after every prayer.

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Reflection: God will never be outdone in generosity

The gospel affirms the mercy of God the Father. He is very compassionate. He is unconditionally generous. We, his children, are challenged to imitate Him. And in order to imitate Him, first, we are asked not to judge and not condemn (v. 37). Second, we are compelled to forgive and to give graciously (v. 38). Thus, what we do to others will also be applied to us. We will be treated in the manner we treat them.

What we do to them will return to us. The goodness we share will come back to us. And it will be more, abundant and overflowing. If we forgive, it will be easy for us to be forgiven. And as we have been forgiven thus we have to be more forgiving. As we have been loved so we have to be more loving. As we have received we must be gracious to give.

God will never be outdone in generosity. We will receive more than we share. We will get more than we give. God assures us, “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap,” (v. 38).

Now, think of it: why should we be stingy in giving? Why should we be choosy in helping? Why should we be afraid to forgive? Why should we be hesitant to forgive? God tells us explicitly, ‘for the measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out to you,” (v. 38).

Story: Antonio was driving in a deserted road when his car broke down.  He has no means to fix his car. He tried to fix the car with his bare hands. But he was unsuccessful. He waited. He prayed.

Fortunately, a car passed by and stopped. Sensing his car problem, the driver took his toolbox and repaired something in the engine. And the engine started. Antonio, out of gratitude, offered a monetary reward.  The man firmly refused. Antonio insisted. But the continued to resist the money. Antonio asked, “How can I show my appreciation for what you did to me?” The man replied, “Just do what I did. When help is needed, stop and be of service.”

Challenges: Do I share what I receive from God? Am I generous as God has been generous and gracious to me?

Today, I will do good things to others. I will share something essential, something substantial to others. (Msgr. Ruperto C. Santos, Jesus Serves and Saves Us!” Makati: St. Pauls, 2003:68-69).

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Jesus talks about Judging: Winston Churchill was such a bad student that his father feared he would never be able to support himself as an adult.

Thomas Edison was so slow in school that his father was convinced he was a dunce.

Charles Darwin did so badly in his studies that his father once told him, “You will be a disgrace to yourself and to all your family.”

Judging others prematurely is a terrible fault.  It can be destructive to the one being judged. Churchill, Edison, and Darwin were strong enough to survive bad judgments. How many thousands of other young people are not strong enough?

Today’s reading invites us to ask ourselves. How negative are we in our judgment of others, especially young people?

Today’s reading invites us to pray: “Lord, help us realize that it is better to reach out a helping hand than to point a critical finger.” (Mark Link SJ, Illustrated Daily Homilies Seasons and Feasts, Mumbai, India: St. Pauls, 1997:107-108)

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Mercy as a virtue is more than an inner disposition. It is interesting how the words of Jesus in today’s gospel passage: “Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be be given to you.” true mercy also involves the sharing of material and economic goods. Forgiveness and love of enemy are not sincere and from the heart when the one who forgives could not bring himself to share goods with the other! (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday, Makati: St. Pauls, 2006:58)

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February 25, 2013

St. Walburga

Monday of the

Second Week of Lent

VIOLET

Dn 9:4b-10

Ps 79

Lk 6:36-38

Lk 6:36-38

Judging Others

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 36“Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful.

37“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 38Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

REFLECTION: Be merciful just as also your Father is merciful. Jesus tells us that the Father remains the model to be imitated by us, his sons and daughters. Thus, we cannot be content to say, “I am only human.” The fact is, we are not only human but we have been made sharers in God’s own life of love. Thus, as Paul exhorts us, “Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good” (Rom 12:21).

The fact is, you get back what you dish out, with this consoling exception: when you give, you will be given in return “a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing.” Those who truly love and show mercy are always winners.

Be a winner!

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2194-february-25-2013

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Reflection: What is this mercy that Jesus speaks about in our gospel today? This is an encompassing mercy, mercy that has no limitations and mercy that we truly give even to our enemies. Often times our mercy is selective we give mercy to those whom we thought deserves our mercy. But to those who we think doesn’t deserve our mercy we don’t.

The mercy of Jesus is an encompassing mercy. It’s for all of us regardless of how grave our sins are. It doesn’t discriminate and it’s always there available for us. We find this mercy of Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. Through the priest who acts in the person of Jesus we are able to receive this healing and merciful sacrament through the priest absolution of our sins.

Are we taking advantage of this mercy of Jesus? It may be yes or no, the season of lent is the most opportune time for us to humbly submit to this healing and merciful sacrament. The moment we submit to confession we would feel that a big burden that we have been carrying for so long has been lifted off our backs.

If we will not avail of this healing and merciful sacrament now, when will we submit? Humbly submit now and be free from the burden of sin. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-reflection-for-monday-march-17.html

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Monday of the 2nd Week of Lent (A)

Luke 6:36-38. Why should we not condemn another person? First, our eyes are limited and we can only see the outside of the person. We cannot see the person’s heart and, therefore, we cannot fully understand that person’s circumstances and intentions, which are relevant information in the judgment process. More often than not, we were mistaken in our judgment of others. And second, we are sinners ourselves who need understanding, mercy and forgiveness. Every now and then, we give in to temptations, we hurt others, we choose to be selfish, and we fail in our obligations. Thus, it is not surprising that Jesus in the gospel says: “Condemn not, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/03/monday-of-second-week-of-lent-a.html

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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