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The good news for the day March 13, 2017

Monday of the Second Week in Lent (230)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Practice mercy—as your Father is merciful. Stop judging others—and you will not be judged. Stop being critical—and you will not be criticized. Forgive—and you will be forgiven. Give away–and gifts will be given you—a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. The standard—in practice—you use to measure will be measured back out to you.” (Luke 6)

In this rare instance where Jesus commands—you and I need to remember—the Gospels exist not for obedience, not for external behaviors, and not really to tell us “what to do.” Their purpose is inspiration. They inspire you to reflect on your outlook, on your attitude, on your Spirit—to allow the Grace of God to act in you.

“Mercy” for example is how you see other persons. It requires humility and caring; it involves respect and attention; it is simply part of the “realm of what is right”—the kingdom of God, our Father. One mercy may be to help; another may be to leave alone. If you “are merciful” and “practice it,” you will know what to do.

All of these “commands” describe the Spirit of Jesus. They describe the way to interact with others that rises organically and naturally in someone who follows in the footsteps of the Crucified, Risen Jesus. In short, these “commands” describe an effect. You are the tree—and these are the fruit. You do not worry about obeying them—you just use them like a thermometer, a plucked fruit, or a gauge for rain. If you’re doing them—you’re going the right Way.

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