The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” If there is one person who can best exemplify this Gospel verse that is my father for he forgave, prayed and showed love to the person who almost killed him.
It was my father’s 65th birthday. Our relatives, his friends from his previous work before and his co-workers from our parish came and celebrated with us. We had a grand and joy filled celebration in our home. When the party was about to end, some of the visitors already left but some of our relatives stayed for few more drinks. While my father and I was stacking the chairs, a cousin of mine who was heavily drunk came rushing carrying a bolo and tried to stab my father.. With my father’s immediate impulse was to held a chair and used it to cover himself against the attempted assault of my cousin. Since my father is big, he was able to push his attacker using the chair that he was holding. My cousin fell in the gutter of the street. Some of our relatives pulled my father back for a possible counter attack. They then strangled my cousin and pulled him away from my father. That evening, all of us went to the city police station to report the incident and to have my cousin be jailed for attempting to kill my father. Since many were able to witness what had happened, my cousin was immediately put behind the bars.
Love your enemies…this is what my father did. Two days after, he spoke with the elder siblings of my cousin and told them that he would withdraw the case which he filed. To our disappointment, my father even received a comment from my cousins that he deserved to die for making my cousin’s life miserable after firing him from work. Despite the hurtful words, my father still withdrew the case.
Pray for those who persecute you…my father prayed fervently for my cousins. I know my father was hurting inside but despite that pain he felt, his profound faith in God gave him a heart full of love and compassion which can forgive any person who hurt him.
I will never forget my tatay for this and this is the reason why I love him so much. I love you tatay…Missing you.