Homily for the seventh Sunday of the Year - Year C - Lk. 6:27-38


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" «But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And 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, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.


" «Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; 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.» "




Homily:


" «But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.» "


Today's Gospel follows what we read last Sunday. Jesus was speaking to us of true happiness: today he develops this topic, which is very dear to his heart, for he came into the world to teach us about nothing other than the happiness of Heaven, and to show us the way to achieve it by inaugurating on earth, already, the bliss of the elect of God.


Everyone seeks happiness, but who truly finds it? It is, first, he who has an upright conscience: he finds true happiness, but only for a while. For human beings are weak, and if he who has an upright conscience does not concern himself with God, does not recognize above him a supernatural being who is the Creator of the world and who is able to reward or punish him, then such a person will never be truly happy.


There is no alternative: happiness is for he who believes, for he or she who renders to God the glory and honor he deserves. The Lord said so: "He who believes in me has eternal life." (Jn. 6:47) But let us be sure to note that this faith is a living faith, a loving faith! For without charity, faith is dead. The faith that makes us happy is a faith animated by a love of God that is endless and limitless, a love of God that proves itself through the love of the men and women who live with us every day, for it is these who are close to us: each one of these is our neighbor.


If we want to be happy, let us live in faith and in the love of God and men, the love of all men, whoever they may be. Therein lies happiness: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you..." Many will say that this is absurd, foolish... This is because they do not have the faith that can give them a supernatural sense of life on earth. How many people do not forgive, in their heart, those who have done them wrong! They often say that to do this is impossible for them. In fact, if they would pray a little, God would grant them the grace to forgive...


" «If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And 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, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.» "


People have always mocked Christians for not behaving like everyone else... For here is something one hears quite often: "One must really be foolish to live according to precepts of the Gospel: 'Love your enemies, do good, and lend without hoping to receive..." And, what is worse, it is not only non-Christians who speak this way: there are also Christians who thus criticize the Gospel. Would such people not be wolves who have entered the sheepfold?


Do you want to be happy by living according to the Gospel? To do so, one must be willing to appear foolish in the eyes of the world. That is how the Gospel is. Nothing or no one will ever change this. This is the way of the Cross, and only it leads to Resurrection in Christ. Is this madness? Those who do not love God say it is. In any case, if it is madness, it is a holy madness that leads to Heaven all the men and women who, like Saint Paul, followed the Christ who died and rose again: "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18)


" «Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; 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.» "


To the glory of the Resurrection via the Cross! "Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Are there not many things we have done that require forgiveness? In that case, let us first forgive: then the Lord will forgive us our faults and will reward us well beyond anything we can imagine! God's Love for us is so, so great, that the smallest suffering or humiliation that we suffer by sincerely forgiving others will be greatly, very greatly, rewarded. "It will be given to you; 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."


Soon, during this Eucharistic celebration, we shall recite the "Our Father", in order to prepare ourselves for communion. This will be the occasion for us to tell God that we sincerely forgive all those who have offended us. May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary help us to pray as we should, with faith, hope, and love, so that our heart might be ready to receive within us He who is the only one able to make us perfectly happy!



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