“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.” (Today’s Gospel reading: Luke 6:36-38.)
These two sentences in the Gospel sound pretty contradictory.
First, take the former sentence: “Give and gifts will be given to you…”. Essentially, the statement goes on to say that if you give, you will not only be given in return; you will be given more in return. What comes back to you will be “overflowing” and “poured into your lap.”
The latter sentence, however, essentially says that how much you give is how much you will get.
So what is Christ trying to say? I believe that in the former sentence, He is saying that while our neighbor does not pay us back, He will pay us back in His grace and His blessings. Christ will reward us, and if not in this life, then in the next. In the latter sentence, Christ is saying that how we treat others, and the love in which we measure out to them, should be equivalent to how we wish to be treated and loved. Our neighbor may never love us back in return, but if we look to the former sentence, Christ will always love us, and bless us back abundantly!
Ultimately, we are called to love others with as much mercy as that with which Christ loves us. No more of this “an eye for an eye” rubbish to which many in our generation ascribe! As Khalil Gibran said: “An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.”
Catholic twenty-somethings, we need to be revolutionary in our love and in our mercy. Christ came to bring love and mercy, not vengeance. And in being merciful like Christ, there will come great reward. Perhaps not from human beings nor in this life, but surely from God and in the life to come!