Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Sunday 24 February 2019
First Reading: 1 Samuel 26:2,7-9,11-13,22-23
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
Luke presents Jesus’ teaching as a progressive revelation. Several times, from the beginning of his Gospel, Luke tells his readers that Jesus taught the crowds but does not mention the content of the teaching. Now, however, after saying that Jesus saw the crowd that wished to hear the word of God, Luke presents the first great discourse. In Luke, the sermon is short and radical and is directed towards the Hellenistic communities made up of rich and poor persons. The verses of the Gospel of the seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time present the core of Jesus’ teaching concerning the behavior of those who wish to be His disciples.
From the beginning of the discourse until now, Jesus had spoken to His “disciples”. Here, in Luke’s text, His audience grows and He addresses Himself to “you who wish to hear”, that is, His disciples who are that great crowd of poor and suffering people, coming from all parts and to all of us, who at this very moment “hear” the word of Jesus.
The words that Jesus directs are demanding and difficult: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.” These counsels of Jesus go way beyond the demands, which in those times, people learned from childhood from the scribes and Pharisees during the weekly meetings in the synagogue, that is, “love your neighbor and hate your enemy”. The new demands from Jesus go beyond this set and common morality, even to this day, and reveal an aspect of “greater justice” that Jesus requires of those who wish to follow Him.
By His preaching, Jesus tries to change and convert people. The change He desires is not limited to a simple inversion of the situation, so that those who are at the bottom go to the top and those on top go down to the bottom. This would change nothing and the system would go on functioning unchanged. Jesus wants to change the way of life. 
He wants that His followers have the opposite attitude: “Love your enemies!” The new way He wishes to build comes from a new experience of God, Father of love. The love of God for us is entirely gratuitous. It does not depend on anything we do. 
Thus true love desires the good of the other independently of anything he or she does for me. In this way, we imitate the mercy of God the Father and we become “children of the Most High, who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked”. We shall become “merciful as your Father is merciful”. These words of Jesus evoke the experience of God that Moses had on Mount Sinai: “Yahweh, Yahweh, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in tenderness and faithfulness”.
Do not judge, do not condemn, forgive, give without measure! These are the counsels that Jesus gives to those who were listening to Him on that day. These make explicit and concrete the teachings of Jesus in the previous verse on the merciful love towards enemies and on behavior as children of the Most High. It is the mercy that is shown in the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son and that is revealed in the life of Jesus: “Who sees Me, sees the Father”.