YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE ‘HARD’ CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 7:27-38) Thursday of the Twenty Third Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus told His disciples to love their enemies. In the ensuing teachings, Jesus urged them not to retaliate and harm others whether physically or emotionally. Jesus tries to communicate that winning the other is more important than retaliating or destroying them. Jesus wanted His disciples to win the enemy. The Christian differs from sinners in that sinners love only those who love them. The Christian is radical in the sense that he is able to transcend feelings and adversity for love, forgiveness, and unity. Catholicity runs in the veins of the true Christian. Catholicity is addition.
These are definitely hard teachings. These teachings are partly the reason why some would not join the Christian Faith. The same reason was cited why some left the Faith. And I think I am not mistaken in saying that these teachings have something to do in making us stay and love this faith. These teachings are at the heart of the Faith. rather than destroy, hurt, judge, hate, and do anything harmful to the other, enemies or not, we must try to win them, encourage them to change, and love them unconditionally. The Lord Jesus showed us that it can be done. The Lord Jesus showed us that it is the right and proper way.
Jesus hanging on the cross is the perfect example. He who was without sin could have mustered and unleashed His power and might against those who inflicted pain on Him and crucified Him. yet, the very first words He uttered while hanging on the cross were words of forgiveness which were words of love from a saviour. he set an example that love heals and unites. This is hard to understand. Worse, we easily attribute that capacity to love and forgive in that situation because He is God. That will be a mistake.
To love is a decision. If we think of it as a feeling, then it is hard to do for an enemy. But deciding to love can be done even if the other appears unlovable. That is what parents do to their children. It happens also between friends. The recent act of the pope easing the procedures (not the reasons) on annulment of marriages is loving unconditionally and making efforts to bring back sinners immediately to the fold. That was what Jesus did and now asks the Church, the community of Christians, to do. In a way, our goal is to win our enemies to be our friends.