June 16, 2015
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Mt_5:43-48
This one goes out to all the kids out there (however old we are) . . .
Did you ever want something SO strongly that you would do just about anything to get it? Maybe it was a trip to Disney World, or having our own cell phone. Maybe it was a game or toy that all our friends had. Or maybe it was as simple as just wanting to go out and play, when there were still house chores or homework to do. And when we asked our parents, all we could hear was that “NO!”
Sometimes it makes us so mad, that we just hate them for it. And maybe we’ll throw a fit, or pout, or just go to our room and cry. It just makes us wonder, how anyone could be so mean to US! And yet, did you ever wonder how that fit, or that pout, or that cry might have made our parents feel? Maybe they really didn’t want to say NO, but they didn’t have any other choice either.
Well today, we get a little glimpse of that other side. You see, St. Paul visited some people in a Greek city called Corinth, and he taught them all about Jesus. And he told them how much Jesus loves them and how they could make their own lives better by believing in Jesus and loving one another.
And after Paul left Corinth, so that he could tell people in other cities about Jesus, the people of Corinth got very angry at him. And in their anger, they insulted and hated Paul because they thought that he was mean, even though it really wasn’t true. And all of that hatred made Paul feel pretty bad, himself.
So Paul had every right to be mad and hating right back at them. But, you see, that’s not what Jesus taught us. And that’s not what Paul did either. Instead he wrote them a very long letter, which we heard a little piece of today.
And in that letter, Paul explained all that God, and Jesus, and he had done for them, just like all that God, and Jesus, and our parents have done for us! And maybe we didn’t see it all. And maybe we didn’t appreciate it all. And maybe we didn’t even LIKE it all, like the times when they had to say NO.
But the Love was there, anyway!
And the Love will always be there!
Jesus tells us today, that if we could make the LOVE stand out above all the hatred. If we could keep the hatred out of our own hearts, it WILL make our lives a whole lot more peaceful!
And yet, keeping that hate out is not always easy to do, especially when we think someone hurts us. And Jesus is not saying that we are supposed to let people hurt us, or that we should not be upset about the hurt. But He is saying that if we could replace the hate with love, it’s more likely that love will come back to us instead of more hatred.
And who knows, it might even help turn that No into a YES!
St. Paul said, “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2_Cor_8:1-9
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