7th Sunday Year C - 20/2/2022 - Gospel: Lk 6: 27-38
Enemy From Within
Human relationships involve not just person- to- person, but it extends to the divine. A human relationship is very sensitive and delicate. We enjoy life when we take care of it, but when mistreat it, the cost is beyond control. We would suffer both physically and spiritually. Without openness and honest communication, the problem could intensify, and the whole relationship network suffered. What follows is hurt and pain; love turns to hate, friend becomes foe. Our society seems to support the ancient idea, that 'An eye is for an eye and a tooth is for a tooth'. This principal approach is one sided solution, because it may calm the mind, but could not mend what had been broken, and certainly would not improve our spirituality.

Our human relationship involves the divine. When we hurt someone. It involves God because it hurts the person whom God loves. Jesus told us the worldly way would not solve the problem, because human justice is about punishment and compensation. God's justice is love and forgiveness. Jesus went as far as telling us not even wish them harm. Instead, Jesus told us to love and pray for those who hurt us. This teaching is a real challenge for all the parties involved. Praying for those who hurt us is a real challenge. It is even harder when Jesus told us to love them, especially when the hurt and pain is still raw and fresh.

It is a big ask but it is possible, because we believe Jesus would not command His disciples to do the impossible. He would help us all along. The teaching was the revelation of what would happen to Him personally, and how He dealt with the false accusation and allegation. In His Passion, Jesus prayed, 'Father forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing' Lk 23,34. This statement sums up Jesus' teaching about forgiveness. First, Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. Second, He asked God to pardon their sin. And third, Jesus gave the reason why they would not be charged as manslaughter but guilty of negligence, because of their ignorance.

When we hurt someone. It is wrong for a number of reasons. First, we hurt a member of God's family. Second, mistreating someone we put ourselves above the victim, and third, we take justice in our own hands. Furthermore, we allow anger or vice to take control of our life. We say no to Christian virtues, and instead of choosing God's love, we chose vice. Finally, hurting someone we reveal our lack of God's love in us.

Jesus wanted us to learn from Him. We each have personal experience of God's forgiveness. We are sinners, and couldn't forgive horrible thing we had done, and yet God forgives us, and continues to love us. By reflecting upon our own sin and God's mercy, we learn from God to forgive others.

The calling to examine our inner life and give thanks to God is the gift, because through self- examination we know our true self better, and seek God's forgiveness and redemption. This recognition alone makes us to be more humbler and more generous in judging others. Once Jesus' opponents asked His opinion about whether or not to judge the woman, who was caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus told them who has no sin cast the first stone. They all left Him one by one until the woman alone remaining there. Jesus told her: Go away and sin no more. He forgave her and saved her from being stoned to death. Jn 8,11.

Jesus wants us to have a good and peaceful life. Retaliation destroys life and peace. In order to enjoy life to the full, we Christians need to embrace God's love. Jesus' disciples must learn from their Master, otherwise they are disciples by name. Only those whose inner life are full of love, can love their enemy.