Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
But I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; from the one who takes your coat, do not keep back your shirt. Give to the one who asks, and if anyone has taken something from you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have others do to you. If you love only those who love you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do favors to those who are good to you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners do the same. If you lend only when you expect to receive, what kind of grace is yours? For sinners also lend to sinners, expecting to receive something in return.
But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend when there is nothing to expect in return. Then will your reward be great, and you will be sons and daughters of the Most High. For he is kind toward the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Don’t be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”
READ: David won a victory over his enemy, not through revenge but through mercy. St. Paul shows how Jesus, the new man, shows the way to a new humanity. Jesus shows the way to this new humanity in a system of ethics that replaces judgment with love.
REFLECT: It is easy to love people who are love-able. But how are we to love people who are disagreeable or even “unlovable”? How are we to love our enemies? The love that Jesus describes is not a feeling, nor is it based on the merits of the one we love. Love is active; it is a matter of the will; it is choice to return good for evil, mercy for those who treat us badly. Not because they “deserve it,” but because we aspire to be true sons and daughters of the God whose very nature is Love, whose very name is Mercy.
PRAY: Lord, where there is no love, let me put love, that I may find love.
ACT: In the week to come, see what it is like to practice forgiveness, to pray for one who treats you badly, to return goodness for injury. Pray that such opportunities may come.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019