Give and You Shall Receive

Readings: Dan 9:4-10; Lk 6:36-38
"For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." Lk 6:38

In today's first reading, we hear the Israelites confess that they have not kept the Lord's Commandments. Obviously, the Ten Commandments are foundational to our faith, and we are called to keep them. But living our faith doesn't stop with the stone tablets Moses presented to the Israelites.

All throughout the Gospels, Jesus calls us to the very heart of His message. In today's short, but very powerful passage from St. Luke, Jesus tells us that we must do more than follow the commandments: "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" (Lk 6:37-38). These simple instructions are not to be taken lightly.

Jesus is calling us to grow in personal holiness. Our faith does not only consist of laws to be followed; rather, it should transform the way we live. The ultimate goal is to be like God - to forgive, love, and serve like He does. For example, instead of reacting in anger to the store clerk who speaks to us unkindly, we can try to empathize with her, and say something kind to brighten her day.

In our key verse from St. Luke, Jesus gives us the image of a generous measure poured into the fold of our garment to show us that God's grace is abundant. He teaches us that when we give the way He does, we will be rewarded with that abundant grace. Our loving Father never holds back His love and forgiveness. So, too, we are called to approach each day with a giving heart, eager to mirror God's love to all whom we meet.

Decide this Lent to dole out heaping portions of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness to everyone and be prepared to receive a greater measure in return from your Lord who is pleased with you.

Lord Jesus, please help me to be compassionate like You, and to generously live out my faith today. Amen.

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