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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 26.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 26.02.24

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DANIEL 9: 4b – 10

O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and merciful love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances; we have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us confusion of face, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those that are near and those that are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery which they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 79: 8, 9, 11, 13 (R.) Psalm 103: 10a

R/. O Lord, do not treat us according to our sins.

Do not remember against us the guilt of former times.
Let your compassion hasten to meet us;
For we have been brought very low. R/.

Help us, O God our saviour,
for the sake of the glory of your name.
Free us and forgive us our sins,
Because of your name. R/.

Let the groans of the prisoners come before you,
Your strong arm reprieve those condemned to die. R/.

Then we, your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give you thanks forever and ever.
From age to age we will recount your praise. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
John 6: 63c, 68c

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
LUKE 6: 36 – 38

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

The Gospel of the Lord

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Mercy Goes Both Ways
February 26, 2024

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:36–37)

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in his guide for a thirty-day retreat, has the retreatant spend the first week of the retreat focusing upon sin, judgment, death and hell. At first, this can seem very uninspiring. But the wisdom of this approach is that after a week of these meditations, retreatants come to a deep realization of just how much they need the mercy and forgiveness of God. They see their need more clearly, and a deep humility is fostered within their soul as they see their guilt and turn to God for His mercy.

But mercy goes both ways. It is part of the very essence of mercy that it can only be received if it is also given. In the Gospel passage above, Jesus gives us a very clear command about judgment, condemnation, mercy and forgiveness. Essentially, if we want mercy and forgiveness, then we must offer mercy and forgiveness. If we are judgmental and condemning, then we will also be judged and condemned. These words are very clear.

Perhaps one of the reasons that many people struggle with being judgmental and condemning of others is because they lack a true awareness of their own sin and their own need for forgiveness. We live in a world that often rationalizes sin and downplays the seriousness of it. That’s why the teaching of Saint Ignatius is so important for us today. We need to rekindle a sense of the seriousness of our sin. This is not done simply to create guilt and shame. It’s done to foster a desire for mercy and forgiveness.

If you can grow in a deeper awareness of your own sin before God, one of the effects will be that it is then easier to be less judgmental and condemning of others. A person who sees his sin is more apt to be merciful to other sinners. But a person who struggles with self-righteousness will most certainly also struggle with being judgmental and condemning.

Reflect, today, upon your own sin. Spend time trying to understand how ugly sin is and try to grow in a healthy disdain for it. As you do, and as you beg our Lord for His mercy, pray also that you will be able to offer that same mercy you receive from God to others. As mercy flows from Heaven to your own soul, it must then also be shared. Share the mercy of God with those all around you and you will discover the true value and power of this Gospel teaching of our Lord.

PRAYER:
My most merciful Jesus, I thank You for Your infinite mercy. Help me to see clearly my sin so that I, in turn, may see my need for Your mercy. As I do, dear Lord, I pray that my heart will be open to that mercy so that I can both receive it and share it with others. Make me a true instrument of Your divine grace. Jesus, I trust in You.

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