March 1, 2010
Monday of the Second Week of Lent
I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed, “Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.” Daniel 9:4-5
“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.” Luke 6:37-38
Do not hold past iniquities against us; may your compassion come quickly, for we have been brought very low.
Help us, God our savior, for the glory of your name. Deliver us, pardon our sins for your name's sake.
Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Before our eyes make clear to the nations that you avenge the blood of your servants.
Let the groans of prisoners come before you; by your great power free those doomed to death.
Lord, inflict on our neighbors seven fold the disgrace they inflicted on you.
Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all ages we will declare your praise.
Stop. Stop. Forgive. Forgive. Give. Give.
This second week of Lent began with the Sunday Gospel on the transfiguration. Today, we continue to explore the theme of change. Luke today relates another story which stresses that we must turn away from our current behavior patterns and be merciful like the Lord.
Last Saturday, we had the parallel reading from Matthew where we are encouraged to be “perfect” as the Father is perfect. Luke reinterprets the passage and equates perfection for mercy. If the future is perfection as we imitate the Lord, then imperfection is the way we are living now.
Our rule is to do to others what we want them to do to us. Or not to do to others what we do not want them to do to us. There seems to be equity in those equations. The phrase “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you,” is more describing the reactions of others than that of God. God is not measuring out. God is overflowing.
The Lord is perfection because he does not measure out our punishment according to our sins. Instead, in his perfect mercy, he forgives all for whatever act of commission or omission they may have engaged.
Another weekend and another time spent glued to the news about the earthquake in
This season has been given to us in order to consider how we must change. However, the pre-occupations of everyday life – blizzards,
Just as Daniel was agitated by the sins committed in the face of a loving God, we too must leave behind the anxieties of daily life for the assurances of the cross and redemption if we but change as detailed in the Good News.