Who are we to withhold God's mercy?
Reflections on the readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 24, 2019): 1SM 26:2,7-9,12-13,22-23; PS 103:1-2,3-4,6,8,10,12-13; 1COR 15:45-49; LK 6:27-38
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The Gospel for this Sunday continues Jesus’ sermon on the plain.
He wants His hearers to grasp the importance of loving others and doing good. But Christ wants so much from us because He Himself is love and goodness. “Do to others what you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same” (Luke 6:31-33). Our Lord asks us be to others what we want them to be to us. If we want compassion, consideration, kindness, even courtesy for ourselves, then we must willingly offer these gifts to others. Jesus also explains that He does not just expect us to show love and respect to those who are near and dear to us. Our Savior loves everyone. Everyone. And, so He demands that we do the same.
As true disciples of Jesus, we are required to love our enemies, those who hate us and hurt us. One of His most well known sayings is about how we should be ready to turn the other cheek. That must have been as hard to understand two thousand years ago as it is now and just as hard to do. Yet it is still what Christ wants. During His crucifixion, Jesus offered forgiveness to religious and political leaders and those who brought Him to the cross. And, since all of us are sinners, we all helped pave the road to Calvary. If our Beloved Lord can lovingly pardon us and our fellow sinners, who are we to withhold mercy from our brothers and sisters?