Daniel 9:4-10 / Luke 6:36-38
We know what the golden rule of life is. It is essentially this - Do unto others what we want others to do unto us.
We can find the expression of this rule in almost every religion.
Jesus also taught this golden rule of life.(Mat 7:12 ; Lk 6:31) In the gospel he teaches us not to judge or condemn. Yet Jesus also taught much more and deeper.
When He talked about compassion, it is not so much that we hope that we will receive compassion in return.
Rather we are to be compassionate because God is compassionate and in creating us He has already filled us with His compassion. It is a compassion that is without limit.
In the 1st reading, the prophet confessed that the people acted wickedly and broke God's commandments and turned away from God.
That is simply because they forgot that God is compassionate and that they were already filled with His compassion. Hence, they committed wicked deeds.
The Lenten discipline of prayer and fasting and alms-giving helps us to control the aggressiveness of our human reactions to people who cut into our path.
At the same time, the Lenten discipline also helps us to bring out the compassion for others, to understand them without conditions and to see things from their point of view without judging them.
Let us open our hearts for God to continue pouring forth His compassion, a compassion of full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over into the hearts of others.