In today's Gospel reading, Jesus challenges us to extend the same mercy to others that we hope God will extend to us. In fact, Jesus tells us that our forgiveness of others is necessary for our own forgiveness.
I believe that we need this teaching today more than ever.
So often we take offense at comments left on our Facebook posts, sometimes by complete strangers. We become embroiled in Twitter fights and turn cold shoulders to those whose actions or beliefs we criticize. Jesus wants us to respond with love, compassion, and understanding instead.
This Saturday I was fortunate to attend the Diocese of Fall River's first annual Women & Men's Conference. At one point in his homily, Bishop da Cunha said that "if you change the way you see something, what you see changes."
These words are equally appropriate for today's Gospel. If we only listen to Jesus and act with mercy toward others, we will find a world where mercy reigns.
Throughout this Lenten season, I will strive to change the way I see. I invite you to do the same.