To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. This seems like a “hard” saying and in stark contrast to the words of Abishai to David in today’s first reading: Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I will not need a second thrust.
Jesus seems to set a very high standard for us in today’s gospel, regarding mercy, judgment and love. Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful…Stop judging and you will not be judged…For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you. Jesus’s communicates His words in the form of a command. We may be thinking, is it humanly possible to live according to the teachings that Jesus gives us in the gospel? Jesus fully understands our tendencies and human nature. Jesus knows we need help – divine assistance.
Jesus gives us His divine assistance in the sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. We experience His mercy in Confession. This experience of mercy enables us to share mercy with others. The more we experience Jesus’s mercy in this Sacrament, the better we can become an agent of mercy in our time and day. Being merciful, forgiving others can be a lifelong journey. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we continue to grow and move more and more in that direction.
St. Paul tells us that made according to God’s image. At our Baptism, we were imprinted with Jesus Christ. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. We pray for the grace to be the bearer of the love of Jesus Christ each day to those in our family, workplace, school, community and parish.
God bless us all always!