Gospel Reading: Lk 5:1-11
Jesus said to His disciples, “But 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. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as 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. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit [is] that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 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.”
Be merciful, just as also your Father in merciful. The Lord tells us today, “You want to be like God and act like his true children? Then be merciful, for God, your Father, is merciful.” But he starts off with a very difficult command: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you.”
Outside a synagogue in Israel, our Israeli woman tourist guide told me, “I cannot love my enemies, at least while they are my enemies.” It goes against the grain, indeed, to love our enemies. In Pilipino we say to one who has done us wrong, “Lintik lang ang walang ganti” (Only the cursed are not able to avenge themselves). But the disciples of Christ are not supposed to do only what is natural as human beings; they are supposed to act as sons and daughters of a merciful God.
Don’t be just a man or a woman; be child of God — like Mary!
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2012,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.,); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.