CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (1)

CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME: LOVING YOUR ENEMY : WHY AND HOW?

BY: Fr. Ben Agbo

 

HOMILY: *1Kg 21 :17 – 29, Matt 5 : 43 – 48.

The theory of ‘Enemy Management’ is an advanced course in ‘Christometrics’. Don’t mind my coinages! But just get my points right! If you have not learnt how to manage your enemies well, you are still a baby in the Spirit.

Just look at Ahab, frustrated before Elijah in today’s 1st reading : ‘Have you found me, O my enemy?’ Elijah replied : ‘Yes, I have found you because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord’. Don’t ever let your enemies hem you in like this. David was wiser. Even when he sinned, he always preferred to be punished by God himself, than to be handed over to a human enemy, 2 Sam 24 :10 – 15.

The basic principle in ‘Enemy Management’ is the principle of love and tolerance. There are 2 major reasons why we should love our enemies : First, is to be perfect as our heavenly Father is and secondly to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. Our heavenly Father has given us the example of tolerance for the enemy by allowing rains fall for both the good and bad people. If we don’t love our enemies, then there is no difference between us and the Gentiles. I said elsewhere that ‘Those who can only love those who love them are pagans ; those who cannot love those who love them are demonic /mad people ; but those who can love those who hate them are Christians’.

A wise man, deducing reasons for loving his enemies said : ‘My enemies tell me what they don’t like in me rather than the things they do like… Thus, they provide me an object of love, outside the small circle of my selfishness. They rub off the artificial varnish around me and make me see my natural complexion. Their mirror of biting criticisms reveals to me myself. And so, we can love our enemies. But if we hate them, we are giving them power over us, over our sleep, our appetites and our blood pressure’ – Vima Dasan.

So, how exactly should we love our enemies? Don’t befriend them. They may kill you. Just pray for them and tolerate them for their nuisance value. Be open for negotiations but most importantly, don’t let them catch you in mortal sin or else, they will finish you. When you sin, tidy it up quickly with your God before your enemies catch up with you.

May God bless you today!


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