Readings: 1 Sam 26: 2-26; Psalm 103: 1-13; 1 Cór 15: 45-49; Lukę 6: 27-38
‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?’
This is a question a psychologist might ask if you find that your normal strategies aren’t working for you. You find yourself locked in a struggle with others.
In an echo of last Sunday’s readings and it is good to assume that humans don’t really get it the first time, the point is made that God does not see things the way humans do. We can be cut-throat, ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘look after your own’. Jesus’ message in today’s Gospel doesn’t just overturn things for his hearers 2000 years ago. It is still the dominant ethic.
We are told in the psalm that ‘the Lord is kind and merciful’. For those of us who wish to be described as a person of faith, a Christian, a Catholic, this begs the question: am I kind and merciful?
The first reading shows David acting in a merciful way when he could have killed Saul. (In fairness, if you read more of the books of Samuel you learn David didn’t always get it right!) How can we be kind and merciful? The gospel spells it out for us:
- Don’t judge
- Don’t condemn
If we each spend time this week working on those, we will be easier to live with and be happier. As the gospel points out, suspending judgment, condemnation and being forgiving comes back to us, in good ways, by helping to create a community of kindness and mercy.
In so doing, we will be happy – and build communities through right relationships.