The themes for today’s readings begin their development from the Book of Daniel by acknowledging God’s greatness, faithfulness, and especially, His mercy. This is contrasted with the sincere admission of our own unfaithful, rebellious sinfulness. In this context arises the Psalmist’s responsorial plea: “Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.” Rather, the heartfelt plea to God is to free us from the spirit-killing “prison” we have created for ourselves in sinning. In disobeying God, we damage ourselves, and likely, others as well.
The Gospel passage from Luke takes all this further. Jesus actually tells His followers to imitate the Father’s mercy. For if we stop judging and condemning, we ourselves will not be judged or condemned; and if we forgive, we will be forgiven. The Gospel is short today and ends pointedly summarizing the theme: “For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.” This should catch anyone’s attention who has ever wondered what it will be like when the time comes to stand alone before God.
God is merciful; but as Jesus points out, this is much more than a comforting belief.
Lord, please free us from the threat of imprisoning ourselves in our own anger, fear, or hurt pride. Help us, as only You can, to grow in the light of Your merciful wisdom and the fire of Your faithful love.
Peter Tumulty, Professor of Philosophy, and Eleanor Tumulty
First Reading: Daniel 9:4b-10