MONDAY, SECOND WEEK OF LENT
Dn 9: 4-10; Ps 79: 8-9, 11, 13; Lk 6: 36-38
BE MERCIFUL LIKE THE FATHER
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” This commandment – to strive to be like God the Father – seems impossible to follow. How can we, mere insignificant human beings, imitate God? What does Jesus mean? The Lord isn’t talking of quantity, but quality. We aren’t being asked to imitate the measure of God’s mercy. God’s mercy is infinite. We are called to imitate how he exercises his mercy. In other words, we should be asking ourselves, not how much, but what kind and in what way. How are we to be merciful as God is merciful? Jesus explains in the following verses. God does not judge or condemn us. He is compassionate, ready to forgive, does not take into account our failures and shortcomings but gives us lots of opportunities to renew ourselves. In the same way, must we be merciful.
In the first reading, Daniel is making a confession in the name of his people. Firstly, he acknowledges the person of God. He is great, he is kind and he is merciful. Then, he acknowledges that they have sinned, they have offended God, they have not done what they were supposed to do. In other words, God was faithful, but they were not. They did not imitate the goodness that God showered on them.
Daniel becomes an example for us to follow especially during Lent. We need to take time first to acknowledge the greatness and the goodness of God, and the marvels he has done in our lives. And then, we must reflect on how we have failed to respond appropriately, how we have failed to reciprocate God’s goodness by imitating his merciful ways. And it is Jesus, the light of the world, who will illumine our hearts and strengthen our wills to know the way forward and to walk it courageously, no matter how impossible it may seem. It is he who will teach us day by day, how to be merciful like his Father in heaven is merciful.
Response: O Lord, do not treat us according to our sins.
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