September 12, 2013

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):

Can you really love your enemy?

Every time I hear this Gospel, I would always recall my former office mate. She had  a good friend before, but as time went through, they became worst enemies. Worst, that even if you would simply mention to her the name of her “good friend”, her face would immediately change, from a very cheerful and smiling face to a “face of a roaring lion”, ready to devour its prey. I had the privilege to talk to her and little by little mentioned about her “good friend”. It was a grace when I talked to her because at that time I was really surprised, she was not that angry to her “friend”. When I asked her if she could forgive her friend for whatever wrong she had done to her, she immediately replied, “Yes, I can forgive her, but I can never forget what she did.”

Today’s Gospel message is not really an easy one. How can one really love his or her own enemy?

But our Lord Jesus Christ is challenging us. If He Himself did not love us, He would never allow Himself to experience that ignominious death on the Cross. That cruelty of death He experienced would be impossible without His authentic love for the humanity, for us, for the redemption of our sins. Now, is this love of Jesus Christ being compensated by our love? Maybe we think of being so religious, active in the Church activities, helping the Church financially, and even being so “good” to others. But again we go back to the question: Can we really love our enemy?

Let us go back to one of the models of loving our enemy: the Blessed John Paul II who forgave and even visited his assassin in the prison. Isn’t this an act of love. Certainly it is!

May the Blessed Name of the Virgin Mary never depart in our lips as She Herself too is a true model of LOVE. Amen!

I call on Our Lady, Queen of the Families to guide the different families of today especially those which are experiencing difficulties in family relations. I recommend all of them My Lady to Your maternal protection. Amen!

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