“But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful as your Father is merciful…Stop judging…stop condemning, forgive and you will be forgiven.”
If we wished to choose one word to describe the ministry of Pope Francis, it would be ‘mercy.’ His writings reflect this teaching of Jesus in the beatitudes. He proclaimed a holy year of mercy. He constantly is extending the compassionate hand of Jesus to the poor and marginalized.
Luke’s teaching asks us to consider what seems so difficult. Love enemies, give without expecting return, be concerned for the ungrateful and those so distant from the gospel.
When driving and someone cuts you off, pray for him or her. If you are offended by someone’s remark, chalk it up to a bad day and don’t brood over it. Don’t live the expression ‘I don’t get mad, I just get even.’ Spend a moment discerning who might be an ‘enemy’ and seek a way to open the door to friendship, by prayer, a smile, or another sign of peace.
Didn’t Jesus tell us to forgive so we may be forgiven?
“The Mass is the loving encounter with God through his Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is the memorial of Christ’s Passover. It makes us participants in his victory over sin and death, and gives full meaning to our life. Taking part in the Mass, particularly on Sunday, means entering the victory of the Risen One, being illuminated by his light, warmed by his compassion. Through the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Spirit makes us participants in the divine life that is able to transfigure our whole mortal being” (Pope Francis). Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish