Homily (Reflection) for Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (I) (20th June, 2017) on the Gospel
Ps 145:2.5-9. (R. v.2);
Topic: Emulate the Father.
Jesus asks us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. By doing this we become the true children of our Father whose sun rises and rain falls for all. He went further and queried,
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Although Jesus was quoted to have said that previously it was “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy”, but we have these passages in the Old Testament: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink” (Prov 25:21). Again, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Prov 24:17). In the book of Exodus we also read,
When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back. When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free” (Ex 23:4-5).
Love of one’s enemies is not entirely a new law. We must follow the example of our heavenly Father to be perfect as He is. He does not despise anybody, cf. Job 36:5.
Bible Reading: Ex 23:1-9.
Thought for today: God despises nobody, cf. Job 36:5.
Let us pray: God, help us see beyond the physical being that hurts us to the real person you created in your image and likeness – Amen.
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