Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seventh Sunday of the Year : A

                "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES"

First Reading: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3: 16-23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 38-48

   * First reading is from the book of Leviticus. In this passage, the Lord God asks Moses to instruct the Israelites regarding their way of life. They were told to be holy like the Lord Himself. To be holy would mean : Not to hate one's neighbour or take vengeance or grudge as they love themselves. This teaching of the Lord God is echoed in the teaching of Jesus.

   * Second reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to Corinthians. In this passage, Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that Holy Spirit dwells among them. They are the temples of the Holy Spirit and hence they should be holy. Further, he adds that wisdom of the world is folly. Paul asks them to respect one another forgetting their differences.

"You must be Perfect as your Heavenly Father is Perfect"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. Matthew. This passage contains one of the most difficult and revolutionary teachings of Jesus. To love those who love us is easy. But Jesus tells His disciples and us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Such a teaching is never heard off.
Jesus gives us the example of the heavenly Father who is good to everyone. : both good and bad. Jesus goes beyond the teaching of Leviticus, where love was restricted to the neighbour. Revenge and retaliation is not for His disciples. Old Testament teaching of eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is not to be practiced by His disciples. because, revenge and retaliation eventually destory a person and the society. Jesus asks His disciples to be better than the gentiles/ordinary people, in their behaviour.
Jesus' teaching is very sensible if we look at the world today. Hate never solves any problems , rather, when we hate another person, we give him/her tremendous power over us.: he/she robs us of our peace of mind and capacity to love. Let us turn our enemies into friends,
"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends" - Abraham Lincon.
" Love is the only force capable of transforming any enemy into a  friend" - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Overcome the angry by non-anger: overcome the wicked by goodness."- The Buddha.
"To error is human but to forgive is divine"- a Proverb.

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