Faith Daily | 14 March 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 484
Remember, O Lord,
what you have wrought in us
and not what we deserve,
and, as you have called us to your service,
make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 6: 36-38
36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Hilary Bell
We have moved from “love your enemies” and “do to others as you would have them do to you” to today’s directions to “be merciful”, to “not judge nor condemn“ but to “forgive”, and “give”. How easy to say. How hard to do. How contrary to much of the behaviour we see daily around us. How appropriate a challenge for our Lenten journey.
We say that we love God, we acknowledge his love and and marvel at his amazing compassion for us. We can ‘ talk the talk’ but we find ‘walking the walk’ incredibly difficult. We are challenged to base our our interactions and relationships on the qualities of love and mercy. Many of us identify with needing to “remove the log” from our own eye before being quick to judge others, as in Mark’s account of this teaching.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu had a lot to say about forgiveness and left us with a roadmap in “ The Book of Forgiving” and in “No Future without Forgiveness” the assertion that without forgiveness we remain shackled to the past, embittered, stuck, and we, along with the person who may have wronged us, risk repeating and perpetuating the same behaviours.
Only God can transform us. We strive to change but we need God’s help. We need to keep our focus on him. We don’t try to change our anger and resentment merely because it is better for our own mental health than holding it in. Nor do we strive to give generously and to forgive to receive reward, the overflowing measure beyond measure. We strive to love and to forgive, not with the thought that we can ever repay the gift of overwhelming mercy we have received, but because loving others can be our only response to the love and forgiveness showered on each of us.
FINAL PRAYER: Prayer of St Francis
“Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me bring your love;
Where there is injury your pardon , Lord.
Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive
Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved,
As to love with all my soul”