The Gospel according to Luke (6:36-38)
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. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Reflection: “I may not be eye-candy, but I sure am soul food”. Or how about this one? “I may be chubby, but I give warmth in the winter and shade in the summer.” The most important work that us Christians can do is to give our love to someone else. St. Albert the Great, said “it is characteristic of the greatest love to give itself as food. Saint Albert was speaking of God’s love given and Jesus Christ through the Eucharist.
Now here we have some of my favorite four-letter words’ “love” and “food”. The only word missing is “free”. Of course, I am joking, and I am not referring to food to consume but let’s talk a little about the spiritual food that we have to offer. Of course, we know what nourishing food does for our bodies. It keeps us fully alive and it makes us feel good. It keeps us healthy. It gives us strength. It makes us grow. Spiritual food makes it possible for us to do all the things that characterize us human beings to be our best.
Now let’s think about the poor nutrition that we sometimes give to ourselves. With a poor diet, our energy is quickly depleted. Our minds grow sluggish as our bodies grow tired. We open ourselves to unhealthy lives therefore unhealthful things are done to ourselves and others.
Healthy love, just like a healthy diet, bears fruit and healthy human beings. Of course, we know that God’s love gives us life in every possible way. Our love rewards both the givers and receivers with the fullness of life that is otherwise out of reach. Unhealthy love consumes us and we are not able to share our nourishment. It deprives us of the strength and freedom to become “the image and likeness of Our Lord”.
Simply stated, “Healthy love” just makes us feel good. And good feelings fuel our daily lives which are fueled by this love. Love that relies tirelessly on feelings will collapse with our next storm. Our feelings must mature into commitment, choice, and taking action if love is to be present. Our commitment will keep us there until our warmth has cooled under the pressure of darkness, such as illness, work, financial stress, anger, or hurt. Action is the ultimate measure of love. Ask yourself, what will I do for the sake of those I love? And can I possibly love a stranger?
Today’s scripture reading is asking us to be merciful, to stop judging, to stop condemning, to forgive, and to give. Isn’t this a great measure of love especially during this Lenten season? But ask yourselves should these rules apply only during lent? Or should we do this year long or lifelong? We should be willing to offer our healthy lives to our fellow brothers and sisters. When you are at mass, you hear these words, “” He took the bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.””
Remember, “You may not be eye-candy, but you sure are soul food”.
Action of the Day: Maybe you should check your diet and see if you are eye-candy OR soul food?