In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
1. Let us open our hearts to receive God’s Word
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he 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 it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Lk 6:27-38)
i. love your enemies …
And God said: “Let there be light”
and never stood back from sowing light into darkness
flickers and flashes
a myriad colours sprouting.
And Jesus said: “Love your enemies”
and never stood back from saving people from vicious circles of violence
flickers of tenderness towards people who failed
flashes of creativity dissolving repetitive evil.
- What does this word create in you?
ii. do good to those who hate you…
The one who causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,
empowers humans to do the same!
In the presence of those who hate, they’re resilient in choosing good
in the presence of those whose name is synonymous with evil,
they melt cold hearts through surprising acts of gentleness
they water parched hearts thirsting for esteem and respect;
persons who refuse to retreat behind thick walls
but choose to refine their abilities to do good without clatter:
like the sun and the rain.
- What do the images of sun and rain mean for you when facing evil?
iii. lend, expecting nothing in return…
Him who became poor that we may be made rich,
keeps surprising those who try the same experiment!
To give and discover you’re being gifted!
To be generous and find you’re appreciating more!
To share with others and find you’re being freed from the hold things have on you!
To reduce from what you have and discover you have more space to breathe!
To place your gifts at the service of the common good and be surprised at the rising joy as you contemplate the ripple effect!
To see your time vanish as you stand alongside someone,
and yet being gifted with a life that is meaningful!
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
(San Francis of Assisi)
3. Our Father