Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.
You will be children of the most high, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
God of compassion,
keep before us the love that you have revealed in your son,
who prayed even for his enemies,
in our words and deeds, help us to be like him,
through whom we pray Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour. Amen.
Genesis 45:3 – 11, 15
Psalm 37:1 – 11, 40 – 41
1 Corinthians 15: 35 – 50
Luke 6:27 – 38
Exodus 34:29 – 35
2 Corinthians 3:12 4: 2
Luke 9:28 – 36
Epiphany 7 – Luke 6:27 – 38
Continuing his sermon on the plain, Jesus again turns upside down another excepted standard of Jewish morality. The principle of “do to no one what you yourself dislike” (as articulated in Tobit 4:15) was not enough for those who seek to be God’s holy people. Jesus demands that his disciples “Love your enemies.”
The Greek word for love used in this text is agape, a sense of that benevolence, kindness and charity towards others. In other words, no matter what a person does to us we will never allow ourselves to seek anything but the highest good for him or her. The radical love of God that is the mark of the Christian is presented clearly and empathically here. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus calls us not just to passive adherence of the standard of the “golden rule” but to actively seek out the good in everyone, to risk being duped or hurt in our compassion and forgiveness of another. The completeness and limitlessness of God’s own love and mercy for us should be the measure of our love and mercy for one another
In every relationship, in every set of circumstances, the faithful disciple of Jesus seeks to break the cycle of hatred and distrust by taking that often formidable first step of love, to seek reconciliation above all else.
Seeing beyond hatred and differences, borders and boundaries, flags and uniforms, languages and cultures, suspicions and unsettled scores is the cutting edge of the gospel. The relationship we seek with God we must first seek with one another. © Connections/Media Works