Jesus said to his disciples: “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, 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, just as also your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
EVEN SINNERS LEND TO SINNERS. Jesus challenges his disciples to do more than those publicly known as sinners. He expects them to behave better before adversaries and in the midst of opposition. Vengeance or getting even is not in his vocabulary.
In fact, Jesus asks his disciples to practice charity to their enemies. They should outdo their enemies in doing good to their loved ones. They should observe the Golden Rule. If their foes need money, the disciples should be ready to give them. They should show mercy like the Father.
The Father is the example to follow. He loves both saints and sinners. We must do the same. We follow the Father, not our guts, our instincts, or our desire to prove ourselves.
The passage contains some guidelines. We follow them to gain people for God. Jesus teaches his missionaries proper behavior that will get them the desired results—more souls for God’s Kingdom. They should surpass the holiness and charity of sinners.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.