Thursday, January 31, 2013

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, priest

Hebrews 10:19-25; Mark 4:21-25)

The man identified himself as Catholic, but he asked a question that comes from another religious tradition. “Do you believe in karma?” he said. “What is that?” was the reply. The man explained that karma is the teaching that one gets what he or she gives. If she does good, good things will happen to her. If he does evil, then he will be punished in some way. Is this what Jesus is driving at in today’s gospel?

Jesus promises, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.” It sounds like karma, but it goes beyond a simple tit-for-tat. Jesus means that those who give of themselves in love like him will experience eternal life – the “more” in his assertion.

When we respond to injury with care – maybe in the form of a prayer for our malefactor – we align ourselves with Jesus. He is the light that illumines our lives now and will not dim as we enter the darkness of death.