“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.” (LK 6: 37-38)
All of this advice sounds really simple and possible, butwe know how difficult it can be to put this guidance into practice. “Judging” and “condemning” are connected with self-centeredness ; without becoming a gift of self and forgiveness, this change is impossible, but when they are introduced in “a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, [gifts] will be poured into our lap.”
“If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” (COL 3: 1-2)
Our vocation is not for organizing a perfect life here, on earth. We are called to be children of God for eternity. The most common way and common vocation is to be a husband or a wife. Marriage, created by God for helping a couple to go to heaven, “where Christ is seated at the right hand of God,” has all the resources to assist them in doing it. They help when we “think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”
“Rejoice and leap for joy! Your reward will be great in heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” ( Rom 8: 28)
Between “for those who love God” and “all things work for good” is a strong connection and one condition which makes it possible. We know that many more situations will efficiently “work for good” when we have a good preparation and a good team of highly motivated workers, but the situation when “all things work for good” can happen only when we have the right condition—”for those who love God.” With God everything is possible–likethe “yes” of a modest virgin to be the Mother of God.
“Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise; from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.” (LK 6: 7)
We cannot imagine that anyone would look at Our Lord in this way: “watched him closely” to “discover a reason to accuse him.” The most merciful, gentle and protective person would not expect anything like this. But at the same moment, we are able to make a very serious examination of conscience of my spouse or my sister/brother: did I receive what I needed, did he/she respect me, and so on.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’— that is, ‘Be opened!’ — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” (MK 7: 33-35)
Our relationship with Our Lord is absolutely unique and very … private. For our public relationship is only the result of our private relationship: our neighbors can observe the difference in our lives when we pray or not. We need this privacy because we are coming with our weaknesses or sins and our damages or disabilities. And Our Lord cures these “by himself away from the crowd”—to protect our dignity.
“Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Brothers and sisters: You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds; God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death”… (COL 1: 21-22)
On one side we have a structure of a person separated from God: first—“alienated,” second—“hostile in mind,” and third—“evil deeds”–“alienated,” because in my daily life there was no time for God; “hostile in mind”, because my mistaken patterns of interpretation in my inner dialog dominated and resulted always in a bad interpretation; “evil deeds,” because this was the natural consequence of life without God. On the other side, we have a structure of a person close to God: affiliated, friendly in mind and of good deeds–affiliated, because we are His children and we love to be close with Our Lord and pray; friendly in mind, because we can look for a good side of life (“it is good, because…”); of good deeds, because our love for God and our brothers we can put into action.
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (COL 1: 15)
Even if we can’t see God, we are not deprived of His image. Our Lord Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God.” Our Lord became man to bring us not only His image, His teaching and rules, but also and primarily, His love. Only love can show us the right image of God.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“…strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.”
All our “endurance and patience” should be “strengthened with every power” because these virtues are important and equally difficult to achieve. Without “endurance and patience,” we can’t think about anything principal in our lives. Patience gives us a real distance to our limits, and endurance helps us never to give up.
“Come after me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.” (LK 4: 42)
Customs of Our Lord: “at daybreak, Jesus left.” The very beginning of the day, when daylight first appears, He “went to a deserted place.” The reason is not mentioned, but we know that it was His favorite place to pray. “A deserted place” and “at daybreak” helps us to stay in front of the Father,focused on Him, His love and His will.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.” (1THESS 5: 9-11)
One company thatproduces shoes for runners used to say: a good day is when I run; a perfect day is when I inspire somebody else to run. The same is true in our lives: we can grow alone, which is good, but much, much better is when we grow together, when we “build one another up,” and when we “encourage one another” to take care of our relationships. We are destined “to gain salvation” and to “live together.”
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)