Monday of the Second Week of Lent
But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
Today’s reading from Daniel talks about the sins we as humans have committed towards God and our fellow brothers and sisters, and the unwavering compassion that God shows us. How great is our God, who is merciful and compassionate? This Lenten season is a season of repentance and renewal, where we are encouraged to examine how we might better live out our covenant with our God who forgives and replenishes our spirit. Growing up, I never realized how beautiful of a season Lent was. For forty days we are invited to more deeply look at and cherish our relationship with God with the realization that through Him we find peace and unity.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Today’s Gospel talks about living in a way that glorifies and imitates God. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Give and gifts will be given to you. I think that this is a wonderfully encouraging message because it asks us to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ the way that God treats us. There have been times when I have been quick to judge and slow to forgive, and through prayer, contemplation, and messages like the readings today, I’ve realized that seeing and treating people through God’s eyes and with God’s hands is a mutually uplifting and rejuvenating experience. How great of a place could this world be if we saw people through God’s loving eyes?
I think that another message that could follow from the Gospel today is “love others and you will be loved.” I believe that deep down, the most humbling and human desire is to be loved. That desire connects us all on a beautiful and simple level. What’s so great (and scary) about love is that it’s not measured by how much of it we have, but by how much of it we give. I think that too often, we allow ourselves to forget to love others due to being busy, stressed, or tired. That has the risk of creating an image of indifference. Pope Francis suggests that more than anything, we fast from indifference to others this Lenten season.
I think we can all agree that the SLU community experienced a turbulent semester this Fall. The events that took place on and around campus brought to light issues and feelings that have existed in St. Louis for many years, and all people on and around campus have experienced feeling unloved or indifference towards them or their opinions. This Lenten season, what if we committed more than anything to give freely of our love and interest in others, no matter how similar or different we are to them, by seeing each other through our God’s loving eyes?
For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
JP Ideker is a senior studying Health Management and Spanish.