Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: ‘Be merciful as your Father is merciful’

1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23. Psalm 103. Luke 6:27-37. 

In this week’s gospel Jesus tells us to love our enemies and do good to those who are cruel to us. Treat others just as you want to be treated. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you. Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God will not be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.”

What does this tell us about what God is like, and what God expects of us? 

This week’s message provides practical details of how we are to behave. It contains the most challenging and difficult concept of Christian living for us to live out – love for those who are against us, and forgiveness of those who hurt us. The Beatitudes call us to a radical reversal of response to situations in our life – a response that turns our human nature upside down. It is the same measure that we give that will be given back to us, no matter how hard this might seem. 

It is easy to think of times when our natural tendency to react or feel angry about something dictates our thoughts, words and actions. If we feel we have been misjudged or wronged we can be negatively affected by the situation. But still we are asked to show mercy. We can act to promote harmony, tolerance and understanding in our home, our workplace, our community.  What does God ask of us? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. 

Markelle Ward – ADRS – Garin College

[Adapted from the Liturgy Centre website, Catholic Diocese of Auckland]