Thursday, September 11, 2014
23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Col 8:1-7, 11-13
Gospel: Lk 6:27–38
Jesus said to his disciples, “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 graciousness is yours? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do favors to those who are good to you, what kind of graciousness is yours? Even sinners do the same. If you lend only when you expect to receive, what kind of graciousness 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 towards 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.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Judging by worldly standards today’s Gospel message is anything but wise. Does it make sense to bless those who curse us and pray for those who maltreat us? What about turning the other cheek to those who slap us? Is one still in his right mind when he gives to the unjust taker of his coat his undershirt as well?
If the Gospel advice sounds off tangent it is because it uses the standard of love which goes against the tide of the world. Francis Bacon (‘Essays’) was right when he wrote: “It is impossible to love and to be wise”. A person cannot exercise Christian love and be wise in the eyes of the world at the same time. That is why those who exercise Christian love by turning the other check in an act of love for the enemy, and those who give to the taker of their coats their undershirts as well appear impractical if not crazy. They are far from wise by worldly standards.
But why do we have to be wise by the standards of the world? Being wise today may make us prosperous for a lifetime. Unfortunately life is short. Keeping this in mind will make us see that real wisdom is not in retaliation and revenge but in loving the enemy, turning the other cheek and giving to the takers of our coat our undershirts as well. That’s how far Christian love can do; that’s how far a Christian can go! -Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us wisdom and humility so that we may persevere in loving our enemies and so come into the glory of your kingdom. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: John Gabriel Perboyre, Martyr. He was born in France in 1802. He joined the Vincentians when he was fifteen. After his ordination, he became a seminary professor of theology, a rector, and an assistant director of a novitiate in Paris. Upon his request, he was sent to China as a missionary. He was in another mission land where another religious persecution broke out. He was imprisoned and tortured. He was strangled to death on September 11, 1840. He was beatified in 1889.