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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
For most of us, today is not just September 11, 2014, but the memorial of 911 — a day of horror that we can never forget, a date when our lives changed forever.
So today of all days, this Gospel is just so hard. “Love your enemies. . . Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
“WHAT! Really, God? In a world filled with evil doers, you expect us to ignore our instinct, to not exact revenge? I want to seek “vengeance;” yet you call us to practice “mercy?” In a society that exacts punishment, you expect us to “do good?” To love even those who hate us and killed our families and friends?
“Because I am Mercy. You have not received what you deserve for your sins. So mirror the mercy you have received: return good for evil, grace for ungratefulness, love for hate.”
—Howard Craig is the director of advancement for the Midwest Jesuits. He and his wife Cheryl have five daughters, six grandkids, and two dogs.
May I always remember, Lord, that an “eye for an eye” and a “tooth for a tooth” leaves everyone eyeless and toothless. It is so hard to forgive those who have hurt me and my loved ones; yet, I know that your mercy knows no bounds and your forgiveness is offered freely to all. May I be your ambassador of mercy this day. Amen.Please share the Good Word with your friends!