Homily for Sunday, 23 February 2013
7th Sunday: Lev 19:1-2, 17-18, 1 Cor 3:16-23, Mt 5:38-48.
The Trinity tell us today that They are ambitious about us. We have the capacity to love well… even if that involves forgiving some wrong that others may have done to us. In the 'Our Father' we ask God to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. How forgiving is that to be?
As Mae West (the actress) once said. “The good people are in heaven. The bad ones are em, em, em… all over the place”!
Pardon is a vital aspect of our lives with God. Christ actually says that we cannot be any closer to God than we are close to our worst enemy! Also remember that there’s been no saint in history without a ‘past’ which had faults, nor is there a sinner now without a ‘future’ which may be very good!
Forgiving people who do harm begins inside as a change of how one feels about another. But that's only a beginning. It should lead to us in some way expressing a newborn desire to be friends. Nearly all of us long for peace. Maybe some don't but those unfortunates are ill too!
There's no peace without pardon and that's where the challenge is for us all. The call to love our neighbor isn’t necessarily a call to ‘like’ our neighbor. In fact if our neighbor doesn’t happen to be particularly ‘likeable’ to us, then loving him or her is even more admired by God. It’s good to hate the sin but it’s very wrong to hate the sinner! ‘The fool immediately shows his anger, but the shrewd man passes over an insult’ (Prov 12:16). A proud, arrogant, conceited person, is a poor victim of his own mistake. He or she needs help.
There's plenty of evil in our world, however that's not because of 'bad' people but rather 'ignorant' people. So if you want to criticize my meditations, I won’t throw stones at you!