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Theology for the common man

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time C Year

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Today’s Sunday readings stress an interesting motif of Jesus’ teaching, which makes this teaching exceptional and remarkable, and in the same way confirms its originality and divine origin. It is about the ability of disinterested love and to forgive those who harm others. The Old Testament already gives us the first example of this ability when the Israeli king Saul has persecuted David, who had a good opportunity to kill the king, but didn’t dare to raise his hand over the anointed one of the Lord. The Old Testament law of Taillon which says: “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”, animated to seek vengeance on an enemy. David nevertheless didn’t kill Saul, out of fear for the consequence of possible punishment to raise a hand over the anointed of the Lord. Jesus Christ establishes new rules which come not from the fear, but from the love of God, asking to love unconditionally to everyone including the enemies. And exactly, this element, to love unconditionally all enemies, gives a characteristic feature to the whole Christian teaching. In the same time, it confirms its divine origin because there is no human being who is able to love that way. Jesus Christ shows this commandment as a new element of his divine teaching, testifying it by His own death on the cross for his enemies. In consequence, such acting of love is a result of the grace of God. His argument is very logical and convincing; we do not differ from other sinners when we pay back the same measure of goodness, love and ability to lend to those, who do to us good things, love us and from whom we expect back our loan. Totally different is the case with those who are not polite to us, who persecute, curse and harm us and so on. To them we should be forgiven, full of prayer and love, putting eventually the second slap on our cheek, and bestowing favor in the moment of their distress. And exactly, this is the way of following the goodness of God who is “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked”. This is also the only way to gain those lost people to God.