Monday of the Second Week of Lent
We are now in the second week of Lent. Hopefully, our resolve to identify with Jesus remains strong. In today’s Gospel, St. Luke presents Jesus teaching as he stood on a level stretch of ground. This is similar to Matthew’s presentation of the Sermon on the Mount.
It begins with the Beatitudes and then moves directly into love of our enemies. Jesus gets very concrete about how we should relate to other people. Basically, we should imitate God. Does God hate anyone? No. God is merciful and loving.
So, the very first sentence of today’s gospel: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’” We are to be imitators of God. God loves us all the way to the Cross on Calvary.
That flows into very practical things. Stop judging. Stop condemning. Forgive. Give.
How should we give? How much? Give in good measure. God measures his love and distributes it appropriately.
Jesus’ use of this image of measuring reminded me of my Mother. She was a great cook. I remember her baking. The kolache recipe included so many cups of flour, carefully scooped out of the flour bin with a cup, cutting it exactly level with a knife. Then there was so much water and so many eggs. Baking powder was carefully measured and then a pinch of salt.
After kneading and letting to rest, then the dough was “poured into her lap,” for another round of kneading.
God loves us. God is merciful, in a similar careful way. God doesn’t dump a bunch of mercy on us – doesn’t just throw things together.
We must try to do the same. “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Reflection by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB