Wednesday 2 September 2015

Thursday of 23rd Week, uneven numbered year Jeudi de la 23e semaine, année impaire

“Therefore be merciful, as your Father is merciful.”

Col.3, 12-17 Ps. 144 Lk.6,27-38

Thursday of 23rd week, uneven numbered year

“But I say this to you who are listening : Love your ennemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who hate you, pray for those who treat you badly.”

In his speech on the Mountain, just after the Beatitudes, Jesus gives us a long teaching about love-charity and especially about loving our ennemies. He talks about personnel ennemies or ennemies in the group which we belong to. And he makes it quite clear what he means by loving our ennemies : doing good to those who hate us, wishing good to those who curse us,praying for those who ill-treat us. The Gospel, the Good News, gives us therefore one of the most precious messages : “..the measure you will give will be the measure you recieve.’’ It is such a marvellous thing to be able to affirm the desire we have for God by tying it to the Love we have one for another. What happiness it is for us to be inscribed in Christian wisdom, a Wisdom so different from any other. This Wisdom is announced by Jesus in such a beautiful way, one that is so comforting. After his recommendations about love without any frontiers, Jesus gets talking about non-violence. He then goes on to specify : turn your cheek to someone who has just slapped you on the other one, let people take your coat, walk two thousand steps, that is,spend fifteen minutes with soemone happy or sad, with one’s sisters or brothers in community, under God’s gaze.”To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well ; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.Give to everyone who asks of you, and do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it. Treat others as you would like others to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit can you expect? For even sinners do that much. Ad if you lend to those from whom you hope to have money back, what credit can you expect?Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount."

By coming in human flesh, Jesus, the Incarnate Word, brings a fundamentally new mesage to humanity. We love this Word he gives-it is so hard to put it into practice- : ’Love your ennemeies, do good to those who hate you, bless.’ It goes without saying that without God’s grace we are unable to put it into

practice. And so we come again to our link ’love-religion-God’s, which is so vital : ’Without me, you can do nothing.’ In today’s Gospel we have the message of love that changes the whole world :

“Love your ennemies, do good to them, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you, a full measure, pressed down, shaken and overflowing, will be poured into your lap, because the measure you use will be the measure used for you.”

In this message it is all about what is the most precious in Christianity. What Jesus talks about is something he has lived. In his wake, anyone who is well trained by him will become like a Master. It is the Gospel reality : to be like Jesus Himself. This is our Christian vocation. Ever since we have been baptised in Christ it has become possible to follow Jesus. Jesus had always done what he spoke about : he had always consoled. He always took upon Himself on His Cross all the miseries of the world. LIke a lamb led to the abattoir, He carried on his shoulders the hatred in the world. Immaculate Mary followed Him right to the end, Jesus dares speak about reward, but gratuity remains intact ,for the reward Jesus is talking about is not something new to possess, but a suppement of one’s being. The more we love God for Himself, the more we are comforted in our autonomy as children of God, and the more we love our sisters and brothers.

We ask God our Father for the grace that our prayer and our life be similar to that of Jesus.