Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
But I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; from the one who takes your coat, do not keep back your shirt. Give to the one who asks, and if anyone has taken something from you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have others do to you. If you love only those who love you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do favors to those who are good to you, what kind of grace is yours? Even sinners do the same. If you lend only when you expect to receive, what kind of grace is yours? For sinners also lend to sinners, expecting to receive something in return.
But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend when there is nothing to expect in return. Then will your reward be great, and you will be sons and daughters of the Most High. For he is kind toward the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Don’t be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”
“Do good to those who hate you.”
Here is the most radical of Jesus’ instructions to his hearers, and probably the most difficult of all to do: “Love your enemies and do good to them.” What makes it so important in human affairs? Many problems in the world, past, present and future, could have been/ could be avoided. The world would be a more peaceful place to live in. Love of enemies invites one to be extravagantly and extraordinarily generous. It goes beyond the “reciprocity system” being practiced during the time of Jesus: “I give you something/favor; I expect something in return from you.”Extreme generosity overturns this system and replaces it with: “I am willing to give, even without anything in return.” It is selfless. The motivation for giving is not the favorable return that will be received, but the pure joy and un- conditional love flowing from the love of God. Extravagant generosity means the willingness to give to anyone in need, and it goes to the extent of wishing/doing good to one’s enemies. In the reciprocity system, one sees the self as the end point; the action terminates back to the self, not on the other. On the other hand, love and generosity see the other as the endpoint, the sole beneficiary of the action.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019