Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Saints Marcellinus and Peter
(d. c. 403)Blessed Virgin MaryFirst Saturday of the MonthReadings of the day: RB 7:35-43Mass: Jude 17, 20b-25; Resp Ps 63; Mk 11:27-33
Forgiveness by Theirry Ona at Art.com
On those who waver, have mercy.
Struck by this line from today’s first reading, I reflect on our care, concern, compassion, and love for those who waver in the faith, who question it, who for one reason or another have wandered from the fold so to speak. We are to have mercy on them as we hope others will have mercy on us when we find ourselves in a similar situation. Pope Francis writes of ‘two aspects’ of mercy in Gaudete et Exsultate: First, mercy ‘involves giving, helping and serving others’; second, mercy ‘includes forgiveness and understanding’ (80).
The Holy Father elaborates: Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly. For this reason, in the Gospel of Luke we do not hear the words, “Be perfect” (Mt 5:48), but rather, “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” (6:36-38). Pope Francis continues:Luke then adds something not to be overlooked: “The measure you give will be the measure you get back” (6:38). It serves us well to always keep in our minds and hearts: The yardstick we use for understanding and forgiving others will measure the forgiveness we receive. The yardstick we use for giving will measure what we receive. We should never forget this (81).Moreover, Jesus does not say, “Blessed are those who plot revenge”. He calls “blessed” those who forgive and do so “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22). We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion. If we approach the Lord with sincerity and listen carefully, there may well be times when we hear his reproach: “Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Mt 18:33) (82).
Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Saints Marcellinus and Peter, pray for us.Jesus brought God’s omnipotence into the world and wished above all that it would be spread and become effective: that it would bring healing, power, and encouragement, that it would generate life everywhere.
André Louf, OCSO (1929-2010)