7th Sunday Year C
Theme of the week: Let us love our enemies, for the measure I give will be the measure I get back.
How should we treat our enemies? Worldly wisdom tells us “an eye for an eye; and a tooth for a tooth”. Not so, says the Lord. As Jesus as aptly put it this week, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? … If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?” (verse 33-34). Often when we suffer injustice at the hands of another; even if we do not wish revenge on the other person, it is natural to at least wanting to shun that person. While we may think not wishing bad upon our enemies is enough, it is not enough. In the Gospel, our Lord poses this challenge to us:
- “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.” (verse 35)
- “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” (verse 37)
- “Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” (verse 37-38)
- And perhaps most importantly, this: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. … for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (verse 37,38)
How can any human do that, you may ask? True. But remember, “for mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). The Second Reading elaborates. As humans, we are the children of Adam, our first parent. Adam is “physical” (verse 46), “a man of dust” (verse 47), subject to human frailty. But just as we are the children of Adam; we also bear the image of Jesus – the image of God. And it is only by tapping into our inner godliness that we are able to live up the challenge of love thy enemies.
To illustrate, the First Reading gives us an example of loving thy enemy. Jealous of David’s success and popularity, Saul pursued David in order to kill him. In the First Reading, we hear that David and his comrade sneaked into Saul’s camp while he is asleep, and had the perfect opportunity to kill him. Instead, David regarded Saul, the King of Israel, as sacred and refused to lay a finger on him. Instead of killing Saul, David took his spear and proclaimed that he bears no hostility towards Saul.
May our Lord live within you and you in Him. Peace.