1Sam 26:2,7-9,12-13,22-23; 1Cor 15:45-49; Luke 6:27-38
His advisers because of his being friendly even to his political enemies criticized Pres. Abraham Lincoln. He quickly answered: “Am I not eliminating my enemies by making them my friends?” That’s true my dear friends. All our enemies are eliminated by making them our friends or by loving them and I can prove this myself.
In our gospel today, it talks about God’s great expectation from all of us – that we have to love, but a different kind of love. In our gospel, he specifically mentioned, ‘love your enemies.’ The word ‘love’ is explained by the words that follows: ‘do good,’ ‘bless,’ and ‘pray for.’ Is this can be? In other words, this type of love is the highest form of love by which in Greek it is called agape which means a benevolent towards the other person. It means that no matter what that person does to us we will never allow ourselves to desire anything but his highest good. We will deliberately and of set purpose go out of our way to be good and kind to him. The other two are eros or romantic love and philial or brotherly love which are limited only to those who are closed to us.
But the question that most of us are asking is this: How about if he abuses our love for him or if he does not accept it? What shall we do? You, what are you going to do? Are you going to let him do what he wants? If he abused our love for him, he is liked the man that after he listened to Buddha who talked against returning evil for evil or in our gospel, ‘a tooth for a tooth’, he decided to see if Buddha practices what he preaches. The man shouts all kinds of abuses and slanderous words at the great teacher and calls him a stupid fool.
Buddha listened patiently. When the man ran out of things to say, Buddha said: “My son, if one declines to accept a gift from another, to whom does the gift go?”
“Any fools know that,” the man replied scornfully. “The gift goes back to the giver.”
“My son,” said the Buddha, “You have given me much verbal abuse. I decline to accept your gift.”
The man dumbfounded. Buddha continued, “”My son, one who slanders a virtuous person is like one who spits at the sky. The spittle does not soil the sky. It only comes back to soil the face of the one who spits. Or it is like one who flings dust into the wind. The dust does not reach its target. It only blows back into the face of the man who throws it.”
So my dear friends don’t worry. If your love is not reciprocated, it will come back to you. If the other person gives slanderous and malign words and deeds to you, but then you don’t accept or locked those in your mind like prisoners, these will come back to the person who gives them.
What Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, SJ had said is true that human being is like other animal and plant species is also endangered species. It is because of the absence of something more basic: Love. The unwillingness to love one another is threatening the survival of our planet and not only because of nuclear and atomic bombs. Unless we discover love and harness its energies: we may not make it through another century.
But why should we Christians are called to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who mistreat us, offer the other cheek and give your other cloak, lend money and expect nothing back, do not judge, be compassionate and to forgive? This is too much! This is unfair! This injustice! Di ko na kaya. Is justice giving what is due to him? For example, if you are slapped on the right cheek, slapped also his right cheek. But to tell you frankly, this is not giving what is due to him, but it is giving what is due to you because this is already revenge. The justice of God is: violence will be answered by peace, hatred should be defeated by love, injury should be healed by forgiveness and evil should be controlled by goodness.
This is very simple. It is because we are children of God, the Most High who is Himself good to the ungrateful and the wicked (v. 35). Also, “Like Father, like son.” A true disciple will be like his father: he loves His enemies, does good to those who hate Him and is kind to those who do not appreciate what He has done for them (v.35). Lastly, we are created in the imager and likeness of God. Therefore, we have to love our enemies just like what He does also. Those who hate their enemies have no rich to claim that He is God’s image and likeness.
My dear friends please join me to say this Prayer of Generosity by St. Ignatius of Loyola:
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous
Teach me to serve You as I should
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek the rest
To labor and not to ask to reward
Save that of knowing that I do your
Most holy will. Amen.
See Today’s Readings: Cycle C
OPTION 01, 02, 03, 04,