Monday of the Second Week of Lent
(Daniel 9:4b-10; Luke 6:36-38)
It is said that a cynic is someone who has given up but has not shut up. The number of such people seems to continually grow. They troll Internet postings and follow one of the notoriously slanted news stations. Their opinion is often directed ad hominem – that is, more to personal characteristics than to ideas. In today’s gospel Jesus commands his followers to avoid such behavior.
Luke’s gospel mercy emphasizes God’s mercy quality. At its beginning Zacharias praises God for the “tender mercies” to be showered on the people when the Savior is born. In today’s passage Jesus tells his disciples to be as merciful as their heavenly Father. Mercy means slow to judge and ready to forgive. It provides others the same kind of understanding that most people have for themselves.
Since we live in a socially polluted atmosphere, we need to take special care. Finding an objective news source and reading responsible commentators will help avoid the dual traps of cynicism and condemnation. Analyzing the ideas without judging the individuals who hold them will sharpen our intellects while avoiding needless criticism of individuals. But most of all we have to strive to be kinder and gentler in what we say.