Jesus said to his disciples, «Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Don't be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back».
«Give and it will be given to you»
+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Luke's Gospel proclaims a short and dense message —very short, indeed!— that can be summarized in two points: a frame of mercy and a contents of justice.
Firstly, a frame of mercy. Jesus' command, indeed, prevails as a rule and shines all around. A most definite norm: if our Father in Heaven is merciful, we, as his children, ought to be merciful, too. And our Father is so merciful...! The previous verse asserts: «(...) And you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked» (Lk 6:35).
Secondly, a contents of justice. We are, indeed, facing some kind of “Talion Law”, the direct opposite to the one banned by Jesus («Eye for eye, tooth for tooth»). Here, in four successive moments, our Divine Teacher exhorts us, first, through two denials; later, with two affirmations. Denials: «Do not be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned». Affirmations: «forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you».
Let's apply these premises concisely to our daily's life, as Jesus does, by stopping especially on the fourth point. Let's examine, clearly and courageously, our conscience: if in family, cultural, economic and political matters Our Lord would judge and condemn our world as the world judges and condemns, who would stand up in his Tribunal? (When we get back home and read the newspaper or listen to the news, we are basically thinking of the world of politics). If Our Lord would forgive us as we, men, normally use to do, how many persons and institutions would reach full reconciliation?
The fourth point deserves, however, an additional thought, as the good Talion Law we are considering, becomes overcome in some way. Indeed, if we give, shall we be given in the same measure? Most definitely not! If we give, we shall receive —let's take good note of it— «a good measure, pressed down, full and running over» (Lk 6:38). And it is in the light of that blessed disproportion that we are exhorted to previously give. Let's ask ourselves: how much do I give, do I give properly, do I give enough, do I give by choosing the best, do I give fully...?