19 February 2011


7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mt 5:38-48

One day, a man went to visit the wise man of the village. “Teacher,” the man said, “my brother hit me on both cheeks and so I fled. What should I do?” The wise man looked at him and asked, “Were you able to count how many times he hit you?” “49 times, Master,” the man answered. The wise man smiled at him and said, “Go back and tell him to hit you another time to make it fifty.” “But what for?” the man shouted, surprised by the wise man’s advice. “Well, my friend,” replied the wise man, “the 50th is for your stupidity, you, moron! Why let your brother hit you 49 times and never do anything about it?”

When Jesus said that we should offer our other cheek if anyone hits us on one cheek, He did not mean that we have to be so stupid to willingly submit our selves to violence. His point was that we should not take revenge for any wrongdoing done to us. Jesus, of course, does not want us to end up mangled and violated. Instead, He wants that we stop the vicious cycle of violence. Taking revenge never ends violence; it aggravates it.

When someone strikes us and aims for another round, would we be morons not to take cover, would we be vengeful and strike him, or would we be Christians enough to take his hand and start a dialogue to understand where he is coming from with the hope that reconciliation could be reached?

We are what we choose to be. We can be morons, avengers, or Christians. The choice is ours. As Spider-Man said in his last movie, “We always have a choice.”

Choose before the next strike. Let it be a loving choice always.

Here are, however, three illusions about love.

The first and greatest illusion is that we really love when we feel like loving. Certainly, loving needs a lot of feeling, but loving is more than just mushy romance. Love is a decision. It is a steady movement of the will, desiring the good of the other – no matter who that “other” is, friend or foe. Love is not an emotional appetite. To love is to decide to love; thus, loving involves more than the hypothalamus (the center of human emotion). It engages the whole person who decides to love, not just his feelings. Because loving does not depend on the one to be loved, but on the one who decides to love no matter what, it is indeed possible to love even the unlovable.

The second illusion is that loving means liking. To unmask the lie behind this illusion, one must understand the first and greatest illusion. To love is not to like because love is not a mere emotional appetite. The person to be loved is not similar with a food that we may like to eat today but no more tomorrow. When Jesus gave us the commandment to love our enemies, He was not out of His mind in admonishing us thus because He knew that loving is not the same as liking. He said, “Love your enemies” and not “Like your enemies”. It is very impossible to like every person that comes our way, much less, our enemies. But it is indeed possible to love anyone we decide to love.

The third illusion is that love begets love. We certainly hope it does, but love does not always beget love. There are many times, we know by experience, when our love is not reciprocated by love. On the contrary, we may suffer for our love. Worse, the people we love may even be the ones who make us suffer the most. Thus, love does not beget love. Well, at least, not always. Loving our enemies may not necessarily make them love us in return. But still, we may love them precisely because we may decide to love no matter what it entails for us.

Let us not be morons. Let us not be avengers. Let us be what we have been called and chosen to be: Christians, disciples of Christ who forgives us even before we forgive others. Let us pray and strive to be like Jesus whose measure of love is love without measure.

A moron, an avenger, or a Christian – the choice is yours. It always is!


At 9:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To love our enemies means to forgive them and to pray for them. To show that they were being loved by God unconditionally.

At 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the beginning, our normal response to Jesus' call to love, to give love and to share love is easy. Good , helpful, kind people are adorable. someone whom you could easily share your life with, someone who could lend their ear when you need most, someone whom you can be yourself.

Loving starts from the basic unit -our family. Then it goes out to the concern and the needs of others outside home, and being sensitive in the issues of people's plights as a nation.

But ... loving your enemies will be difficult... at first.One has to be broad minded to digest what went wrong.
Our enemies are definitely our friends , they are the very people around us who touched our lives in some ways and helped us probably along the way, but somehow there was a mistake. it could probably be intentional or otherwise.

If so, the feeling of love could easily tarnished and makes our spirit unpleasant.

Forgiving is an intricate and considerate feeling that is in a person.
A person has to be spiritually nourished in order to learn how to accept and forgive.Prayers are the weapon on the willingess and capability for a person to forgive
the wrong that could make right.

After all, Jesus has forgiven us so many many times.
He is our friend who calls us to a life-love-long relationship .

With Him our needs are fulfilled and we find Peace.

God bless you and family Fr. Bobby.!


At 8:38 PM , Blogger Jen Feliciano said...

Love is really unconditional and it's a choice. Loving others is like loving ourselves, because Jesus first love us all. God Bless po Father Bobby! I really miss the parish, St. Joseph the Worker.. :))


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