Twenty Third Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 6: 27-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 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.”
LOVE SURPASSES EVERYTHING: The message of Jesus to His disciples is, “do to others what you would like to be done to you”. In this, He is calling his disciples and also us to show love and be compassionate to each other. We should not only do good to those who do good to us, but even to those who harm us. This is because whatever we do to others should be guided by the Holy Spirit. If we do otherwise, there is no difference between us and the sinners. Whatever we do should not be to look for earthly reward rather it is for the sake of the Kingdom and to enable us inherit Eternal Life. Let us follow the example of St. Peter Claver who lived serving the slaves, showing them compassion and boundless love. Love is the greatest commandment.
PRAYER: Father, help us to love each other without discrimination.
LOVING ENEMIES: “Never cease loving a person, and never give up on him, for even the prodigal son, who had fallen away, could find his way. The bitterest enemy could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle again.” Says Soren Kierkegaard. The age-old theory was a man is not a man unless he has avenged himself of his enemy. Even today it is startling because most people in the world still passionately cling on to their grudges and resentments. Our Lord in the Gospel today clearly states that we need to love our enemies. It is a proof that we are children of the heavenly Father, who lets the sun shine and the rain fall on both the good and the bad, the just and the unjust. To love one’s enemy means to return him good for evil. By God’s grace we can and we should fulfil His commandment of loving our enemies and to those whom we do not go along with. If we are generous towards others, God will be infinitely more generous towards us.