First Reading: 1 Kgs 21:1-16
Psalm: Ps 5:2-3ab4b-6a, 6b-7
Gospel: Mt 5:38-42
The nature of a Christian is to love the enemy. This Gospel summarizes this love in so many ways that there is no doubt that this is what God wants us to do. In many other passages in the Gospels, Christ invites us to offer the wicked man no resistance. During those times, hitting you on the right cheek was an insult to one’s dignity and honor. Requiring one to go one mile was a form of injustice and yet Christ invites us to go two miles! Christ invites us to love those who do injustice to us. The enemy here may be living under our house. When our husband or wife goes against our will, he or she becomes our “enemy”. When our children disobey or disrespect us, they become our enemy. Anyone who destroys our plans or our projections becomes our enemy. And Christ invites us to love them as they are, especially when they are unlovable.
And how is this possible? Humanly speaking it is not. But with the Holy Spirit, Christ gives us His spirit that it may be possible. Because this is what Christ did with us. Christ loved us when we were His enemies. When we killed him with our sins, Christ answered with the other cheek, Christ also gave us his cloak, his life and walked two miles for us. Christ never took account of our sins, but paid for them with his blood. Believe it or not- we can only be truly happy when we can possess this special divine love for the enemy. This is the true love that saves the world!