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March 18: Monday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading Daniel 9:4-10
Gospel Luke 6:36-38

But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!

Lent is a season of perspective. Our “great and awesome God”, as Daniel describes him, is infinite in all His qualities: beauty, simplicity, and mercy, to name only a few. God’s mercy is our great focus during this season.

God’s love for us is infinite, and when we sin even in the smallest way, we offend this infinite love. God’s mercy is an expression of his love. Some people love, but only up to a point. Many of us, perhaps, are the sort of person who cannot love once we are offended. We insist that the one who has offended us does not deserve our love.

Yet who of us deserves love? What is love if not a gift? God the Father shows us what real love is in offering us His gift of mercy as a means of reconciliation, in the very light of our rejection of His gift of love. God’s mercy knows no bounds. What of ours? Can we put our need to have mercy on others in perspective with God’s mercy towards us?

Jesus also speaks in the Gospel passage about perspective. He points out to us that the measure we use will be measured back to us. This is what we pray every time we recite the Our Father: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That word “as” is the fulcrum within this vital petition. Let us show mercy to the extent that we wish to receive mercy.