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Do the Math! Learning the Mathematics of the Kingdom is important for Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | September 12, 2013 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 09/14/2013 7:52:20 AM PDT by NYer

There is a remarkable set of sayings of Jesus, in Luke’s sermon on the plain that we have been reading recently at daily mass (Click here to See Gospel). These things present a kind of mathematics of the kingdom of God. In effect the Lord says to us, “Pay attention! You are going to be judged by the same standard by which you treat and judge others. So do the math, and realize that you were storing up for yourselves a kind of standard by which I will judge you.”

The key statement from today’s Mass comes at the very end, wherein the Lord says the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you (Luke 6:38). But this statement comes at the end of a long string of statements were in the Lord summons us to be generous, forgiving, merciful, patient, and reluctant to condemn others.

In effect, the Lord says “Do the math, and realize it if you are merciful you’ll be judged with mercy. But if you are harsh and critical you will be judged with a harsh and critical standard. If you have refused to forgive, you will not be forgiven.

Like it or not, this is the mathematics of the Kingdom of God that does not mean that we earn salvation, but it does mean that we have a lot of influence over the standard by which we will be judged.

So, if you are going to need mercy and grace on that day, (and we all are) it is good to do the math of the Kingdom, and store up mercy and grace for that day.

We will all, one day, answer to God. And that day, as Scripture repeatedly teaches, it is a day about which we should be sober. Sadly, there are many who give little thought to this truth, and some who outright scoff at it.

Remarkably we can influence the manner in which God will judge us, the standard he will use! Now here, we speak of the manner of God’s judgment, that is whether he will be strict or merciful. We do not refer here to the content. It is an obvious, and axiomatic truth, that God will judge our deeds. Hence, we should avoid grave sins and wickedness, and repent quickly when we commit such sins.

But again here, we ponder the manner of God’s judgment, the standard which he will use. Namely, whether he will judge us strictly, and or severely, or with lenience, and great mercy.

On the one hand, it would seem that we could have no influence on this. For, it would also seem that God is no respecter of persons, and judges with perfect justice.

And yet, there are passages which do speak of ways that we can influence the standard God will use, the a manner of His judgment. Let’s consider a few scripture passages wherein we are taught that we can have some influence over the manner in which God will judge us. Lets look at four related areas that will have influence:

I. Whether we show mercy –

Jesus says, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7). James says something similar, and develops a bit when he says Always speak and act as those were going to be judged under the law of freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. So mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12 – 13). And thus we are taught that by observing mercy, and patience, in our relations with one another, we will influence the manner in which we are judged.

It is a fact that, sometimes in life, it will be required of us, especially if we are parents, or in leadership roles, that we will need to punish, and/or assign consequences for those who transgress moral laws, or legal limits. Hence, texts like these do not mean we should never correct with punitive measures. Such a way of living is unwise, and often confirms people in bad behaviors. But even when corrective or punitive measures are needed, it makes sense that we should seek to be lenient where possible, and use lesser measures before firmer ones are employed.

It is also clear from these biblical texts, that it is highly foolish to go through life with severity toward others, with a lack of compassion, or a harsh unyielding attitude. We are all going to need a lot of grace and mercy at our judgment. Therefore, how misguided, how foolish it is for us to be harsh and unmerciful toward others. For indeed, these text tell us the merciful are blessed, and warn that the unmerciful will be shown no mercy. Can you or I really expect, that we will make it on the day of judgment, without boatloads of Mercy?

Now therefore is the time for us to seek to invoke the promise of the Lord, Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

II. Whether we have been strict or lenient

In a related text, the Lord Jesus says, The measure that you measure to others, will be measured back to you (Mark 4:24). Here again, if we hope for, and need a merciful judgment, if we want a merciful measure or standard to be used, the Lord makes it clear that he will use the measure or standard that we have used for others. Have we been strict? He will be strict. Have we been merciful? He will be merciful, and so forth. Be very careful before demanding that sinners and others who transgress receive the strongest penalties. There may be a time for penalties, but it is not always true that the most severe punishments be used.

In John 8 the Pharisees wanted to invoke the most severe penalty for a woman caught in adultery (stoning to death). Jesus reasons with them that before they demand he throw the book at her, they might want to recall there are a few things about them that are also written in the book. One by one they drift away, seemingly considering the foolishness of their demands for the most severe penalty. Somehow they realize that the measure they want to measure to her, will be measured back to them.

III. Whether we are generous to the poor -

Luke, relates this text more specifically to our generosity: Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure that you measure to others will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38). And this leads us to a second area which the Scriptures teach us that we can influence the day of our judgment.

Jesus, after rebuking the Scribes Pharisees for their severity, and their extreme legalism, says to them, who obsessed about cleaning the outside of the dish, You fools, did not the one who made the outside of the cup make the inside also? But if you give what is inside the cup as alms to the poor, everything will be made clean for you (Luke 11:40 – 41). It is a daring text, in the light of the theology of Grace, and almost implies that we could somehow “purchase” forgiveness. But of course, it is the Lord himself who says it, and he does not say we can somehow purchase forgiveness. But surely, he does teach that generosity to the poor will in fact influence the day of our judgment.

Later in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus develops the thought saying, I tell you, use your worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into trouble dwellings (Lk 16:9). It is a complicated text, but Jesus seems to be saying that our generosity to the poor, will surely gain for us advantages at the day of our judgment. Indeed, blessing the poor gives us powerful intercessors, for the Lord hears the cries of the poor. And on the day of our death, and our judgment, the picture that is painted here is of those very poor welcoming us into eternal dwellings.

Scripture elsewhere warns, If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be heard (Proverbs 21:13). So once again, it would seem that we can have some influence over the manner, measure or standard that will be used by God at our judgment. To the merciful, mercy will be shown. The generous too will experience that their cries are heard, for they heard the cries of the poor. And the Lord more than implies that those who have been generous to the poor will have powerful advocates praying and interceding for them on the day of judgment. Indeed, a number of the Fathers of the Church remind us that, in this life, the poor need us, but in the life to come, we will need them.

IV. Whether we have been forgiving -

A final area to explore in terms of how we might have influence over the manner of our judgment is the matter of forgiveness. Just after giving us the “Our Father,” the Lord Jesus says the following, For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14 – 15).

Later in Matthew, Jesus tells a terrifying parable of a man who had huge debt, a debt that was forgiven him. But when he refused to forgive his brother a much smaller debt, the king grew angry and threw him into debtors prison. Jesus concludes the parable by saying, This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you, unless you forgive your brother from your heart (Matthew 18:35).

So yes, it would seem that we can have some influence over the manner in which God will judge us, over the standard he will use. And while it is true, God will judge will judge us by our deeds (cf Romans 2:6), yet the manner in which God judges us, whether with strictness or leniency, does seem to be a matter over which we have influence.

As we have already considered, it is a plain fact that we are all going to need lots of grace and mercy, for if God judges with strict justice and strict standards, who can stand? We will all have much to answer for. All the more reason for us to follow the teachings of the Lord, in his Scripture, and be sure that on the day of our judgment, mercy, and the grace of leniency will prevail in abundance. Do we want mercy? Then show mercy. Do we want a gentle standard? Then we must measure out gentleness. Do we want forgiveness? Then we must offer forgiveness. Recruit some good intercessors for the day of judgment, by giving to the poor. They will be the most powerful intercessors for us as we leave this life and go to judgment.

Indeed, God has shown us how we can store up a treasure of mercy, waiting for us in heaven, at the judgment seat of Christ. Some good lessons here to heed.

Perhaps you might like to add some other ways we can influence the standard God will use to judge us.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: msgrcharlespope

1 posted on 09/14/2013 7:52:20 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 09/14/2013 7:52:37 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: BonRad

Ping!


3 posted on 09/14/2013 7:53:45 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Woe is me...


4 posted on 09/14/2013 8:03:25 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: NYer

It’s difficult to believe that God did not make a fundamentally mathematical universe.


5 posted on 09/14/2013 8:03:26 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug
When I was in high school, I got the strong impression that trigonometry was God's language.

Before Hebrew, that is.

6 posted on 09/14/2013 8:32:57 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Jesus thrown everything off balance." - Flannery O'Connor)
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To: onedoug
When I was in high school, I got the strong impression that trigonometry was God's language.

Before Hebrew, that is.

7 posted on 09/14/2013 8:34:32 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Jesus thrown everything off balance." - (The Misfit) Flannery O'Connor)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
When I was in high school, I got the strong impression that trigonometry was God's language.

That's because He speaks in sines and wonders...

8 posted on 09/14/2013 8:40:52 AM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
afraidfortherepublic :" Woe is me... "

I flunked math in school
Does 2 woes make a Wright ?
..Plus I am left-handed (Dextra / Sinistra)
I Guess I'll be seeing you in God's re-education camp ..

9 posted on 09/14/2013 8:42:21 AM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: NYer

The greatest mystery is that of the Holy Trinity: 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.


10 posted on 09/14/2013 8:47:20 AM PDT by 353FMG ( I refuse to say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: NYer

Good article...only missing today’s very simple fast track to that merciful state of mind..fhu.com!


11 posted on 09/14/2013 8:50:26 AM PDT by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: onedoug
It’s difficult to believe that God did not make a fundamentally mathematical universe.

Click here: The MATRIX of 188 - LEY LINES of the 188 DAY Mega-Quake Cycle


Pollen, as seen by a scanning electron microscope

12 posted on 09/14/2013 8:50:26 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: NYer
Like it or not, this is the mathematics of the Kingdom of God that does not mean that we earn salvation, but it does mean that we have a lot of influence over the standard by which we will be judged.

So, if you are going to need mercy and grace on that day, (and we all are) it is good to do the math of the Kingdom, and store up mercy and grace for that day.

So if someone has, in his heart, accepted Christ as his Savior, but he's still pretty much a jerk, is he saved or not? What are the repercussions of being a jerk? He's lower on the totem pole in God's Kingdom? He's not allowed in? I don't get what this means.

13 posted on 09/14/2013 8:59:44 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: onedoug
Good afternoon.

It’s difficult to believe that God did not make a fundamentally mathematical universe.

I agree. G-d made us and His universe all in His image. For example, look at water, it comes in three states of being too.

5.56mm

14 posted on 09/14/2013 9:00:54 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: chajin

:o)


15 posted on 09/14/2013 9:04:36 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Jesus thrown everything off balance." - (The Misfit) Flannery O'Connor)
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To: NYer

So this judgment is AFTER purgatory??? Or are those pulled up out of purgatory when it’s time for the judgment...And those already out of purgatory, they are part of the judgment???

No one discusses what happens to those who are pulled up out of purgatory, or those who are done with purgatory; what happens to them if they don’t pass the judgment???

What are the standards for the judgment??? What’s the pass/fail mark???


16 posted on 09/14/2013 10:07:52 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: NYer
Does E=MC2 play a part in there anywhere?
17 posted on 09/14/2013 12:07:08 PM PDT by Heart-Rest (Good reading ==> | ncregister.com | catholic.com | ewtn.com | newadvent.org |)
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To: NYer; smvoice; RnMomof7; metmom; boatbums; caww; Iscool; presently no screen name; daniel1212; ...
>>Learning the Mathematics of the Kingdom is important for Salvation<<

But salvation by Catholic belief is not works based right?

18 posted on 09/14/2013 2:19:12 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: NYer

Very good reminder here and should be read over and over.

I find myself guilty of being too harsh on others, too critical, too indifferent to the condition of others.

Lord, you are the just judge.
Remove from me the selfishness of judging others.
May your grace move within me so that I will love them and see them as you love and see me.

I will remind myself of this prayer as I read through the ignorant and hateful posts sure to come because some do not understand Scripture as they should or reject that which is not agreeable to their faith.

I will remind myself that being a Catholic is a gift that I have not earned. I will remind myself that for those to whom much is given, much is expected. I speak not of money or worldly goods, but of spiritual riches, mercy and understanding.

My Lord has done great things for me and Holy is His Name.


19 posted on 09/14/2013 3:28:10 PM PDT by Jvette
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To: 353FMG

But 1x1x1=1


20 posted on 09/14/2013 3:53:50 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Heart-Rest

One God
Two Natures — Jesus, fully human and fully God
Three — Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Agnus Dei, Kyrie Eleison; three presider prayers in Mass
Four Gospels
Five barley loaves
Six -—
Seven days of creation
Eight Beatitudes
Nine days in a Novena
Ten -—
Eleven apostles after Judas left
Twelve apostles chosen by Christ


21 posted on 09/14/2013 3:56:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Twelve wicker baskets of scraps picked up when Jesus fed the multitude

Ten Commandments


22 posted on 09/14/2013 3:58:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Six days for the Creation.


23 posted on 09/14/2013 6:34:31 PM PDT by Jvette
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To: NYer

My thoughts will not please Monsignor Pope and those others who believe that the modernist formula of mercy and charity is the key to achieving salvation, but misguided individuals are sadly mistaken. As Jesus told us, “you can tell a tree by the fruit that it bears; a good tree bears food fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit”. Look around you, Monsignor; the devastation that has wracked the Catholic Church and our society over the past 50 years has been brought upon us by the modernist “peace and justice” formula that grew out of the Second vatican Council. It is that formula that you are now pushing in your “Do the math” piece.

By any measure, the Church is tragically tattered and torn because of the modernist philosophy visited upon us by the bishops and priests of today that all but ignore sin. And if one doesn’t understand that the world in which we live is a reflection of the spiritual strength of the Catholic Church, then they they simply aren’t Catholic. Monsignor Pope says not a word about “the wages of sin”, but re-packages in pastoral language what we hear most every day from the the secular press or the current administration. Is there really a difference between supporting the United Givers Fund, Catholic Charities, or the Bishops’ Appeal?

Would it not be nice to hear even one of our Catholic priests, even just once, telling us doesn’t tell us that we are not to cohabitate but we are to enter into the Sacrament of matrimony and bear as many children as God will allow. And wouldn’t it be nice to hear Monsignor Pope tell us that the practice of homosexuality is disordered and is a most serious and grave sin. Or to tell us that as Catholics we are required under the pain of mortal sin to confess our sins to a priest at least once a year, and that we are absolutely bound to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. But he doesn’t tell us about those “old fashioned rules” or a host of other sinful behaviors that are virtually ignored by most Catholics today. Instead, he tells us that the formula to get to heaven is to show mercy and be charitable.

Yes, it is important that we try to follow all of the teachings of Jesus, especially those given at the Sermon on the Mount. But there’s an old saying Monsignor: when you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t worry about the mosquitoes. And whether you realize it or not, you are focusing on the mosquitoes.


24 posted on 09/14/2013 6:44:29 PM PDT by tomsbartoo (St Pius X watch over us)
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To: Jvette; Salvation
And six stone jars of water were turned into six stone jars of wine.    (John 2:1-11)
25 posted on 09/15/2013 6:29:32 AM PDT by Heart-Rest (Good reading ==> | ncregister.com | catholic.com | ewtn.com | newadvent.org |)
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To: tomsbartoo

While we are alive Christ is perfect mercy. At the moment of our death Christ is perfect justice.


26 posted on 09/15/2013 6:32:30 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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