Msgr. Ralph Chieffo
Transform Enemies into Friends
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23, Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-1, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, & Luke 6:27-38
How can we possibly love those who hate and harm us?
He gives power and grace to those who believe in and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices, and griefs. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, resentment and give us the courage to replace evil with good. Such love and grace have the power to heal and to save us from destruction. God is good to the unjust as well as the just. His love embraces saint and sinner alike.
In the Gospel today, Jesus commands His disciples to love their enemies, give to everyone who asks, and be merciful as the Father is merciful. David chose not to kill Saul even though he wanted to kill him. Paul witnesses that he is a committed disciple of Jesus because of God’s mercy, and he encourages us to fight the good fight of compassion and kindness even to those who persecute us.
Saint Augustine counsels us to fly, not crawl, spreading the Gospel. As a sinner turned saint, he advises us that we are blessed with the two wings—forgiveness and kindness. We can pray our way to give and forgive many souls back to the Church. Once Abraham Lincoln was asked, “How will you treat the Confederates after the war?” Honest Abe replied, “The same loving way as before the war.”
Pray: “Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart free with your merciful love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone.”
—Msgr. Ralph Chieffo