7th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
"Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one
who wants to borrow." Today Jesus
continues the powerful teaching of
his Sermon on the Mount. Typical of
this famous sermon, here He urges
us to see things in a new way,
specifically regarding situations
and people who bother us. First,
He tells us not to seek revenge.
Instead, we are to demonstrate
incredible generosity. Then, He
instructs us to "love your enemies
and pray for those wo persecute you."
These instructions don't come naturally
to most of us. We are much more inclined
to want to get even with those who cause
us to suffer, and to wish ill for those
who cause us to suffer, and to wish ill
for those who have hurt us. But Jesus
proposes another way.
In, truth, what good does it do to
seek revenge or foster hate? It only
continues the cycle of evil. Jesus
encourages behavior that will stop
the cycle short. He give us a model
that-although it may not change the
heart of our "enemies"--will none-
theless change OUR hearts for the
better. When pressed into service for
one mile, if we voluntarily go two,
then WE are the ones whose attitude
and experience is certain to change.
Instead of spending the length of that
one mile cursing and complaining, we
spend the length of two enjoying a
surprising kind of freedom: "I chose
to do this," instead of "I am being
forced to do this."
When we practice the generosity of
giving more than we are asked, and
the charity of praying for those
who persecute us, we will find
ourselves in a position to transcend
the trouble. It sets us free to not
to be mastered by the evil around us.
Thus, we are able to help end the cycle
of evil and begin a new cycle of love