Rocca di Papa, 17 March 1983
Oftentimes, the thought of death is bitter to accept, because we are afraid of God's judgement.
Not knowing what it will be like, we become frightened at the thought of our sins.
If we believed Jesus' words, however, we would be able to influence the outcome of this judgement decisively, and we would have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Jesus said: "The measure you give will be the measure you get" (Mt. 7:2), and "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy" (Mt. 5:7).
Our behaviour toward our neighbour is like a boomerang, which, when thrown, comes back to us.
Do we judge severely?
A severe judgement will come back to us.
Do we show mercy?
Mercy will come back to us.
When judging our neighbour, are we lenient, allowing him or her the benefit of the doubt?
Then the same will happen to us.
When dealing with our neighbour, do we try to find the good in the situation; make excuses; and certainly not set ourselves up as judges, even in the most obvious situations; but leave every verdict to God?
If so, God will do the same for us.
Let's deal this way with every neighbour we speak about, even those who pass beneath our gaze when we are reading the newspapers or looking at television - with ordinary people or with people in public life - with everyone.
The measure we give will be the measure we get.