“We have sinned and done wrong.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel (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 Ps79:8, 9, 11.13 (R/. Ps 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/.
R/. O Lord, do not treat us according to our sins.
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
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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 the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Mercy is forgiveness Jesus says “forgive and you will be forgiven.” God’s mercy is clearly revealed in the largeness of his heart to forgive. Ezekiel 33:11 says: “As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?” Once more we must note that forgiveness is not the same thing as condoning evil. If we do not forgive, we become worse than our enemies in the sense that we try to use evil to cure evil. It never works.
Mercy as Jesus describes in Luke 6:36-38, is charity; giving – helping the needy. To be merciful is to put oneself in the shoes of another. It is being able to feel the pains of others as our own pains and doing something to alleviate their plight. Jesus says “the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” This statement is quite similar to the parable of Jesus in Matthew 25:34-36: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Being merciful is such an important virtue because without it, we cannot claim to be children of God neither can we be rest assured of entrance into Paradise on the last day. Your best possible life can only happen when you are merciful. Be merciful, do not hold up hatred in your heart, do not be stingy with your gifts and your life will surely make a difference in this world.