Meditation of the Apostolic Nuncio, Apostolic Nunciature, New Delhi, Thursday 10 September 2020

Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38

In today’s Gospel we have the second part of the “discourse on the plain.” In the first part, Jesus addresses Himself to the disciples. In the second part, He addresses Himself “to you who listen to Me” that is, the great crowds of poor and sick people, who had come from all parts.

Having spoken above of what they might suffer from their enemies, He now points out how they ought to conduct themselves towards their enemies, saying, “but I say to you who hear…”.

Having proceeded in the enumeration of many heavenly actions, He not unwisely comes to this place last, that He might teach the people confirmed by the divine miracles to march onward in the footsteps of virtue beyond the path of the law. Lastly, among the three greatest, (hope, faith, and charity,) the greatest is charity, which is commanded in these words: “love your enemies”.

But He says not “do not hate”, but love; nor did He merely command to love, but also to do good, as it follows, “do good to them which hate you”.

Because human person consists of body and soul, to the soul indeed we shall do this good, by reproving and admonishing such men, and leading them by the hand to conversion; but to the body, by profiting them in the necessaries of life.

He commands us to count our enemies in the rank of our friends, not only in a general way, but as our particular friends for whom we are accustomed to pray.  But many on the contrary pray God not for their sins, but against their enemies, which is nothing else but piercing their own selves.

It is a time of forgiveness, prayer, and mourning, not of rage.

    And St. John Chrysostom adds: He said not, “bear humbly the rule of your persecutor”, but, go on wisely, and prepare yourself to suffer what he desires you to do; overcoming his insolence by thy great prudence, that he may depart with shame at your excellent endurance.