Gospel Reflection February 20th 2022 – SEVENTH  SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

‘Love your enemies’

The desire for revenge is a built-in feature of human nature. Our natural instinct is to strike back in response to some perceived harm or wrongdoing by another party, to give as good as we get, to ‘get even’, but Jesus offers us a different approach when He says: ‘Love your enemies’. It’s probably the most difficult command He gave us. It goes against the grain and challenges conventional wisdom. It calls us to turn away from the path of revenge, which is ugly, dark, dreary and self-destructive. ‘If you seek revenge you should dig two graves, one for yourself’ (Confucius). Hate has caused many problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. The great 16th century Spanish Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross caught the beauty of the Lord’s teaching when he said: ‘Where there is no love pour in love and you will draw-out love’. It’s not easy to pardon the unpardonable, to love the unloveable. Christian love hurts, but the rewards are out of this world!