A Reflection On Being Merciful
“Do good … pray for … give … love … forgive.…”
When I read this section of Jesus’ teachings, I always seem to snag on the part where Jesus says, “the measure with which you measure will … be measured out to you.” It makes me shiver when I imagine the half plateful that would be placed in front of me! Jesus’ words make me reflect on how generous I am to others. He is giving us a way of life based on honesty, lending, gentility, loving concern, and selfless giving. Am I up to the challenge?
I imagine that Jesus is speaking to a large group of people who want to hear what he is teaching, people who are more interested in the trials and challenges of everyday life than in the intricacies of the Law. Jesus is sharing his view of a life lived as God’s child, and it is a picture of light, goodness, reaching out, mercy—all done with the great courage that comes from believing the best about one another. Jesus is asking me to live that life. This is his recipe for a life of love. The ingredients are truly demanding! Still, I cannot turn my back on his words if I want to be among the “children of the Most High.”
I wonder how this lesson would sound if it were put on prime-time TV as an advertisement. How very not Wall Street these words of Jesus would sound. But their force and value for today’s world and my life cannot be ignored. In the last decade we have seen how misplaced confidence in money, careless monitoring, and unchecked greed have carried us to the brink and damaged the trust upon which relationships in every society are built. But I know that Jesus has redeemed the world, through a relationship full of eternal, infinite love. We can always trust and learn from this infinite love.
Jesus, I ask you to give me the courage I need to look at everyone with the eyes of love, not suspicion. If I want to follow you, I need to begin with myself and help to transform our world. I want to place my footsteps firmly in those you traced out for us all, you who are the only true Way. Trust is the big stumbling block for me, Jesus. Teach me to trust you and others. Give me some of the infinite goodness of your heart, a heart that knows the secrets and yearnings of every heart, and loves us all into gratitude and hope.
Jesus, make my heart like yours.
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 108–109). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.