The Mercy and Love of God

Feb 19, 2019

Gospel Reflection, 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49; Luke 6: 27-38

The Mercy and Love of God

At first thought, our gospel seems impossible.  Turning the other cheek, loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us seems far too much.  Who has the strength for that?  How can we function in life if we never defend ourselves?  What if the state were governed by the words of Jesus?  Wouldn’t crime and injustice have free reign? 

Of course, the sayings of Jesus in our gospel today are not concerned with the state.  The state has to punish crimes appropriately.  But this is talking about me and my personal attitude and approach.  It is talking about the question so decisive in my life.  It is the question of whether or not I really love my neighbor.

What Jesus is asking of us can actually be summarized by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would like them to do to you.”  If I am angry and worked up and rebuke someone and now find that the person concerned does not strike back, I am amazed and my anger evaporates.  The friendliness of the person attacked disarms me.  Through their “turning the other cheek”, the spiral of violence has been interrupted.  What happens if this does not take place?  On an international scale we see the cycle of revenge that keeps on repeating itself between certain countries.

Yet Jesus goes on to teach, not just to refrain from striking back, but refers to the root from which this approach springs.  The root is love.  This is a disinterested love that comes not with any agenda, but only from generosity.  It is marked by mercy, which always has its origin in God who sent his Son, Jesus to die for our sins.  In showing each other mercy, we find life and resurrection.  So we don’t look upon the evil that people have done so much as that they are still human person’s whom God loves.  We would want to be looked upon this way, as children of God despite our mistakes.

Father Tony