Monday of the Second Week of Lent

The mercy of Livia 

Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 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”.  Lk 6,36-38

Livia is a lady of about sixty years old, every morning we meet when we attend the first mass at the sanctuary of Saronno. She is a wren of a woman, perhaps not weighing more than forty kilograms. She operates a small laundry, earning enough to live modestly but with dignity. She is always a person happy and smiling, but this morning, when we stopped by to pick up the pants and the shirts she had prepared, she was a bit broken-hearted.  “Excuse me – she said –  today I’m sad, because yesterday I was bag-snatched. Two young people bumped into me and I was knocked down to the ground, then they fled with the purse, where I had the money, the documents, the house keys and those of the shop”. Then, shaking her head, she added in a tone of deep regret: “They are ‘poor fellows’”. She could have said something more and worse, but during that little outburst, which she granted to her, she said only that they are “poor fellows”. The focus of all her thoughts and her feelings was in that word: “I wonder where they come from? Who knows what has been their childhood? Why young people are reduced to live like this? What future can they have?”. All  this and much more was in that word “poor fellows”. Today, when meditating this passage of the gospel, we recalled Mrs. Livia who, with the phrase “they are poor fellows” explained what are the mercy, the forgiveness and the not judging. That “They are poor fellows” meant “Lord, forgive them, because they do not know what they do”.

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