This Sunday’s Gospel (Lk. 6: 27-38) is familiar to us as this is the very measure of what it means to be Jesus’ follower and disciple. However familiar it is, admittedly it is also one that is quite challenging to follow. The Lord wants us to reflect on this core and extraordinary teaching of loving our enemies. He wants us to look at this not as a burden but as a means to look at ourselves on how we can celebrate His love to others. He wants us to be generous in spirit; to take on an attitude of looking beyond the difficulties we suffer, ranging from insults, curses, dishonesty and maltreatment and be sensitive and hear others’ plea for help. Even in being hurt ourselves!
When we were still struggling we experience this generosity of spirit from our parents, a grandmother, uncles, aunties and friends, who reflected the infinite compassion of God in our lives. I can fondly recall some people who live in Dad’s farm come to our home and borrow money for their family’s needs. He would gladly share even though money was also tight considering five children being in school at that time. Also, I have aunties and uncles who shared generously to their nephews and nieces even when they had other needs too. In our relationships with others, we experience their sincerity and peace-loving kindness that they stay away from occasions that can breed conflicts. Just like in the First Reading (1 Sm. 26: 2, 7-9, 1-13, 22-23) David spared killing Saul out of respect for God, even if he had the opportunity to do so.
Such examples of loving generosity are still vivid as we try to emulate their examples now. We are thankful to them as they made our life experiences so blessed and worth keeping. They’ve taught us how to rise above petty quarrels and become sparks of God’s presence as we reach out to others in love. This teaching poses a challenge for us today to inspire others to be generous and loving.
Jesus further tells,
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop
condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
When you let love power your attitude and behavior, you will bring out the best in people around you. Not only that, God will smile at you and pour His favors upon you.
“Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
Jesus is challenging you to be generous without expecting something in return. He promises abundance to those who imitate His loving generosity.
He wants those who want to be His followers and disciples to be more like God. Being like God is to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Being generous and loving are divine attributes borne out of mercy as God loves us beyond our expectations, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. In response, we are to love as God loves us. In doing so, you will be rewarded with abundance beyond what you can imagine.
Let us pray therefore that God bestow on us the grace so that we are able to treat others, not as they deserve, but with love, kindness and mercy. That we be blessed with the strength to forgive. For it is only in being able to forgive that we be truly healed of our own infirmities.