March 18, 2019

Gospel LK 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give 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:
“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned…..”
Stop judging???
I am “hard wired” to make judgements; I have to make hundreds of judgements every day.
‘Do I have enough time to cross the street before that car gets here?”
“If I buy this item will I run short of cash?”
I was given the gift of “good judgement” to keep me safe and to help me live a godly life.
However, Jesus tells me that when it comes to my interaction with others, I need to turn off the judgement button.
“Is that person with the homeless sign really in need of my help, or is he/she trying to scam me?”
As soon as that thought enters my mind, I start feeling like I’ve done something wrong. I try to listen to that feeling because it means that God’s greatest gift, my conscious, is kicking in.
At that moment, I tell myself, “STOP JUDGING! Just give and let God be the judge.”
So, I give “joyfully and generously without judgement “…for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Nine times out of ten the person I help responds, “Thank God!” or “God bless you!”
I always feel better when I give; I always feel unsettled when I don’t.
When I overcome myself and reach out in love to another person is when I most assuredly feel the love of God within me.
“Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you…”
My deceased friend Fr Tom had a saying when someone was unforgiving or had a grudge against him, “Well, I guess they’ll just have to sit on the blisters until the pain gets too bad.”
That, of course, is the truth of “un-forgiveness.” It always leaves “me” feeling miserable.
So, what is this “gift” of which Jesus speaks?
When I overcome my suspicion of others and “give,” and when I overcome my anger and “forgive,” God rewards me with the gift of peace of heart and mind.
“For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”
When we give without judgement, when we forgive someone who has hurt us, we leave a trail of good will in our wake.
Our attitude and actions have an effect: they “shine like a light on a lamp stand and draw others to God.”
Any love and forgiveness that we give away through word or deed will be measured back to us, “packed together, shaken down, and overflowing.”
“When you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
Saint Mother Teresa