Fr. Aidan Writes:
Today’s Gospel passage from St Luke (6:27-38) is a dynamic collection of the teachings of Jesus. When we read them or hear any one of these teachings, we recognize it instantly because it is paradoxical. “Love your ene- mies”… “ Huh…?!”… “Turn the other cheek”… “ you’ve got to be kidding…!?” “Give to anyone who asks of you” … “ pfff what…!?” However, we all have an itchy feeling at the back of our neck that tells us… “well, he’s right you know”. Then there follows a plethora of aphorisms and variations on aspects of the golden rule, “Do to others as you would have them do unto you”, “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful”, “Stop judging and you will not be judged”. Aphorisms are pithy ways of saying the truth that are memorable. But we must ask ourselves a direct question, “If they are so straightforward, why are they so hard to do!?” It is not easy to reign in our judgementalism, merciful is sometimes the last thing we want to be! As for loving our enemies and doing good to them, that is hard. But we have to make the effort because this catalogue of Jesus’s sayings ends with one we can all comprehend, “For the measure with which you measure will be in return measured out to you.” This is per- haps a more active and real version of the passive “karma” saying, “what goes around comes around.”
Our life as believers in Christ takes effort, a lot of effort. All of this is rooted in the forgiveness of humankind by God our Father for the death of his son. Forgiveness is hard, it is supposed to be; it wouldn’t be worth a dime if it was easy. Forgiveness is the bed rock of the development and progress of all relationships: personal, familial, filial, at work, in the public forum, between peoples. But forgiveness can only be real and lasting if it has forged in the crucible of love. Our world abroad, the nation and our homes need hefty servings of forgiveness if we are go- ing to move forward and grow in Christ. Whilst some of these teachings might just seem clever, they only truly will be if we are clever enough to follow them!
God bless us and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter
PS. I will, unfortunately, have to have an operation on my ankle. This will happen after Easter. Thank you for your prayers and concerns.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter