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.
Our attitudes and behavior are greatly influenced and conditioned by our environment and culture. Take for instance two people who are arguing with one another. Both want to convince the other, but no one is actually listening. Thinking that the louder one’s voice is, the more one can be heard, their argument can end up in a shouting match. But when one lowers the volume of one’s voice and speaks more calmly, the atmosphere invites the other to do likewise. This seems to be the logic behind today’s gospel when Jesus challenges us to put on attitudes and behavior that would help us grow in mercy, forgiveness, and understanding towards others. God has already provided us with everything we could possibly need and Jesus teaches us how to act when misfortune or opportunity comes our way. Often what hurt us the most are the judgments and condemnations of others. When we act or react in the same manner, we can attract the same judgment upon ourselves. Jesus invites us to mirror in our lives God’s attitude by experiencing how God has been forgiving and understanding with us, in spite of our repeated sins and failings.
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