Monday of the Second
Week of Lent
March 5, 2012
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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."
Introductory Prayer: Dear Jesus, too often I
compare myself with others. It´s easy for me to find
or imagine my superiority to them. I ignore you and
your great goodness. I forget that everything I have comes
from you and that I can´t claim the credit for
any quality and virtue, although I would like to. I
wish to keep this truth in mind and to have
an attitude of genuine humility in my heart. Here I
am, Lord, to know and love you more through prayer.
Petition: Lord, help me to forgive
from the heart.
1. The True
Battlefield: Although it is difficult, we can usually bring ourselves
around to excuse an injustice we have suffered. We forget
about what happened, and we try to move forward. However,
it is more difficult for us to forgive when we
look into our offender’s heart and refuse to turn a
blind eye to the goodness that is there. Our hearts
are a battleground for good and evil, and to forgive
is to be willing to help both the offender and
ourselves overcome the logic of evil. It is to wager
on the side of good and to trust that goodness
is ultimately more attractive to the human heart than the
idol of evil. Christ always looked into the heart and
wagered on the side of good.
2. Turning the Other Cheek: “For if you love those
who love you, what credit is that to you? Even
sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32). Christian forgiveness
involves waiving our claim to damages. It means turning the
other cheek. It means giving up our cloak as well.
Yet all this is relatively easy in comparison to giving
over our good name, to proceeding in charity even when
we will be misunderstood. Even here, we must waive our
claim to damages, willingly die in the furrow, and patiently
await the Father to raise us up again.
3. Going the Entire Distance: The Christian ethic
is positive. It does not consist merely in not doing
bad things but in doing good things; building up positively.
We change the world little by not doing things. Christ
was not satisfied with that. He gave up his tunic,
he gave up his good name, and he gave up
everything—to the last drop of his blood. So often we
feel good about ourselves because we measure up to our
neighbor; but it is not our neighbor with whom we
must compare ourselves. It is God with whom we must
compare ourselves, and he has shown us how to be
fruitful: by paying our ransom with his own blood. In
forgiveness and mercy, his generosity is without measure.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, help me to
seek perfection in loving you and my neighbor constantly. I
want to travel the path of generous love because it
is your path, and you are the source of all
Resolution: I will be
the first to offer an apology or a solution to
build unity in my home and workplace.