Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“... because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.”
Everyone will agree that the first reading and the Gospel is about forgiveness of the one who should not be forgiven. In fact, the reading and the Gospel present us with a scenario that seems to be more of a fairy tale than anything else. It sounds nice to say and hear that we must love our enemies, but can we? Do we? However, whether we appreciate it or not, this virtue is so important and necessary for discipleship that Luke has Jesus addressing not the crowd but his followers, his disciples.
This loving and forgiving those who should not be loved and forgiven is so necessary for being a Christian that Jesus takes time to reason at length with his disciples. I wonder if he had in mind David’s forgiveness of Saul as recorded in the first reading for today. I feel that Jesus was asking his followers and by extension us to be like David and forgive those who do not deserve forgiveness.
At the end of the narrative, Jesus makes a statement that calls for prayerful reflection. “...the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.” I suggest that this is not a threat but a reasoning. Jesus is saying to us that if we are not forgivers out and out, it stands to reason that we should expect the not to be forgiven. Reasonable, isn’t it?
Fr. Clement Paul,