02-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

"The measure with which you measure"

I have to say that I think that the Gospel for this weekend is one of the most challenging passages of scripture to put into practice in real life. Go look at it again: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022022.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples:

“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 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.”

Is God playing a game with us? Why does God say that He will treat us the way we treat others? God is not playing an arbitrary game with us like children do: hit me and then I can hit you. The truth is in the concept of the "measure" with which we measure. Have you ever noticed in yourself or in others that those who are very harsh and critical of others usually cannot experience forgiveness themselves whereas the gentle and forgiving person abides in God's mercy? When I judge others, I tend to isolate myself from the mercy of God and others and to judge myself harshly. The first reading shows us an example of this truth in a life-or-death situation. King Saul is with his army hunting down David to kill him. By chance, David comes upon King Saul asleep and defenseless. David could easily have killed Saul instead, but he did not. He forgives Saul. Even so, Saul continued to harass David. Saul ultimately ended his life separated from God, defeated and killed by his enemies whereas David went on to succeed Saul as king. Even though David certainly sinned in his life, he would repent and come back to God. Each received the measure with which they had measured. It is a truth of human life.

Ask yourself: "What is the measure with which I measure?"


Fr. Baker