A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Merciful, not stupid

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose, wrote Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 3).

Indeed, defenders of immorality sometimes put forward this simple statement by our Lord in today’s Gospel (Luke 6:36-38) for their own purposes:

Judge not: and you shall not be judged.

The full context of what our Lord says in this chapter, however, makes clear that we are being commanded to be merciful and self-aware, not stupid or blind to the reality of evil.

"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.

And he told them a parable,
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?

"No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.

"Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?

"How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice

the wooden beam in your own eye?

"You hypocrite!
Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.

"A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.

"For every tree is known by its own fruit."

We need to be exceedingly generous in mercy and in forgiveness, yet always keenly aware of the reality of evil – within ourselves and beyond ourselves – and diligent in overcoming evil – within ourselves and beyond ourselves – through the grace and truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.