Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Gospel continues the Sermon on the Plain from Luke’s Gospel. Jesus’ teachings regarding our treatment of others, especially our enemies, is revolutionary in the history of the world. Not only are we to tolerate our enemies, but we are to love them. If we view this teaching in a merely human way or earthly way, we might say, we would think it is absurd. Yet, we must see it from the point of view of God. Human beings, who throughout history have committed evil deeds, have shown their hatred for God by hating His creation. We often fail to realize that sin is an offense against God because it spurns His creation. Particularly, hatred and violence can be a vicious cycle that is self-destructive in the end, harming ourselves. Yet, God, in His love and mercy, sent His son to rescue us from this futile way of life. He came to save, forgive and love even those who show scorn towards God. Jesus’ teaching is even more revolutionary because He expects us and empowers us to show this same kind of forgiveness and love for others even those who hate us. This takes some courage on our part and a willingness to sacrifice our pride, our ego. But when we act this way, we become more like Jesus Christ showing God’s mercy and love to the world. This is not an attitude naiveté about evil, but a willingness to defeat evil through the power of good and love. We can think of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose efforts in this way changed a culture of segregation and racism in our country. There are many other examples in history. We know that Christ will give us the grace to do His work and increase and perfect the results of our efforts if we commit ourselves to His teaching.
Have a blessed week!
Administrator Pro Tem