Memory of the Poor

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 6,36-38

'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.'

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Jesus has just proclaimed the need of loving enemies, a passage which radically subverts the culture of the self-centred world of which we are all children. Last Saturday we have meditated on the parallel passage of the Gospel of Matthew. The evangelist Luke has Jesus continue his speech: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Jesus poses a measure to mercy so high as it is impossible to have another higher- the same mercy of the Father. Yes, the disciples of Jesus are called to be as merciful as God is. This ideal is as high as heaven; yet, this is what the Lord asks us, his disciples. Being as merciful as God is means having a heart like His, a care like His, a love like His. Mercy is needed in our time. Pope Francis devoted a whole year so that we could understand the deep meaning of mercy. There is too much hardness and coldness, there is an excess of individualism and indifference to others, especially the poor. Mercy is not a vague and abstract feeling; it is a power that changes hearts and history, as Jesus did who, passing through villages and towns of his time full of mercy, brought healing and joy. He exhorts us to do the same. From mercy springs also the commandment not to judge but to forgive. If we behave like this, we too will be forgiven and not condemned. It is a very much needed exhortation. We act differently: we are good to ourselves and malevolent towards others. This is what the Gospel says in another part: we are very able to see the speck in the other's eye and not see the beam that is in ours. Jesus warns: forgive and you will be forgiven, give and you will be given. And he adds that all this will be done in abundance. The example of the grain which is poured in abundance into the sack, almost as if being wasted, shows the incredible generosity of God. Jesus continues: He pours out His mercy onto us to the point of wasting it. We must behave toward others with this same generosity. These are great words of human and Gospel wisdom. The Gospel shows us the way to receive the abundant love of God: "with the measure that you measure, you will be measured." Let us not worry about giving love. The Lord will do much more: he will be moved so much that he will waste love to envelope us