Thursday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Peter Claver—Priest, 1580-+1654) Patron Saint Netmakers, Shipbuilders, and Fishermen
Colossians 3:12-17, Psalm 150:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, & Luke 6:27-38
In today's Gospel narrative, Jesus gives His disciples a challenge. He tells them, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you." However, Jesus does not stop there. He continues, "If someone strikes you on one cheek, offer your other cheek to them as well. If a person takes your cloak, give him your tunic also."
The ultimate call from Jesus is, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." Jesus calls us to examine ourselves and asks if we are willing to do what He asks us. We might respond, "I try to live this way; however, there are some people who simply drive me crazy." Or, "I can do that with most people, but there is someone who deeply wounded me, and I simply am unable to forgive him."
Jesus' blunt words are difficult to hear. They may challenge us at the deepest level of our being. Most likely, each of us has been wounded, betrayed, or rejected at times in our lives. If this person was a friend or relative, this wound typically is amplified. However, each one of us also has wounded or betrayed others. It is part of our human condition.
Jesus doesn't ask for miracles, nor does He want "false" forgiveness. He continually invites us to free those who have wounded us, thereby freeing us from the pain, anger, and hurt that binds us. Jesus is patient yet persistent. He constantly invites us to forgive. Today, perhaps we can take one small step in this direction.
Question of the Day: Will you consider making amends with someone who hurt you or you hurt?
Prayer: "Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friend. Amen."