THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
A reading according to the holy Gospel Luke 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."
Jesus left these positive commands--
1. Love your enemies.
2. Do good to those who hate you. 3. Bless those who curse you.
4. Pray for those who mistreat you.
How can we love those who hate us? How can we love those who speak ill of us, stab us in the back, shore up bad words against us or roll their eyes behind our back? How can we do good, bless and pray for them? How can we love someone who continues to hate us or show their indifference or lack of care for us or our family?
But God has asked us to treat others not as they deserve but as God wishes for them to be treated. We are to give and forgive with loving kindness and mercy. His Son has shown us how by His Cross.
But can I do this on my own? I do not have the slightest ability to love my enemies without help. It is not about “me” doing things for God. It is not if I have enough “steam” to do it by myself for God. I need to ask God for love so that I can then give and forgive.
Love God first to acquire the virtues needed to obey Him. It is our love in God that gives and forgives..
“Because I love Jesus that is why I obey; because I love Jesus, that is why I suffer voluntarily; because I love Jesus, I work with zeal for his honor. My love is a good in which all goods are contained.” (The Redeeming Love of Christ, St Alphonsus Liguori, patron saint of PAPA).
May we approach God as a child holding on tightly to His hand, not wanting to lose Him, not wanting to disappoint or reject Him.
Therefore, because I love God, I give and forgive. God gives power and grace to those who love Him and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So, seek out the Lord in every second of our lives, living with Him in communion and allowing His love to transform us.