Wednesday, XXIII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Bless those who curse you

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 8:1-7.11-13; Ps: 139; Gos: Lk: 6:27-38

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Thursday of the twenty third week of ordinary time, Christ continues his sermon on the mount on how to be true Christians, and contrast to our world full of hate and malice.

Today, Christ reinterprets the law of love and forgiveness: “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

To be honest, this is not an easy one. Of course, it is easy to accept, but practically speaking, it can be a very difficult task.

These words of Jesus can make us feel that we never measure up. To forgive an enemy is one of the most difficult things to do in life.

Bitterness is understandable when we have been badly and unjustly treated. However, the truth is that the more we can forgive, the freer we become.

Also, praying for someone who has hurt or offended us, is not an easy task that one can accomplish on one’s own. This is where the grace of God comes in.

If we succeed in doing this, we will not only succeed in freeing ourselves, but the one who hurts us.

The example of Jesus’ love and forgiveness on the cross can help us make small steps on the way of forgiveness in our lives.

Also, it can help heal the injuries that others have caused us. It can help transform those who constantly offend and hurt us. It can also make our world a better place.

Sometimes the realization that God loves each of us, can help us look on others with love, tolerance, compassion and mercy.

So, let us ask God to always give us the same grace he gave to Christ on the cross, so that we can find the strength to love, and say: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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