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2/24/19 Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Damian



Foolish! Naive!




These are the first sentiments that come to my mind when I look honestly at these three words and think to myself. It is impossible to love your enemy. It would be easier – much easier - to love our enemies but the Lord knows exactly what he is saying: “Love your enemy.” Love the person who hates you, who would do harm to you; who would betray you! I cannot think of anyone who could possibly say these words and really mean them.

The only one who comes to mind is Christ. He said them. He lived them. He did it! He loved those who would betray him, abandon him and crucify him. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”.


In return, the Lord died and rose from the grave, not only physically but also spiritually, psychologically and virtuously. The tomb was empty because the Lord gave it all. “It is completed” means “I have nothing else to give. I have given it all. I have given everything to you.”

What Christ said and did was revolutionary. No one had ever spoken these words. No one had ever even thought of these words. No one even imagined that these three words could have been placed together and left together without the world tearing them apart! These words only exist in the Christian world, the world Christ left behind, the Church. The great philosophers never uttered them! The great poets never imagined them. The great historians could never recount a single incident when a man loved his enemy. Great playwrights never casted “the man who loved his enemies” because of fear they would be cast off the stage in mockery!


The miracle of Christ’s resurrection is multi-dimensional: physical, spiritual, virtuous. “It is complete.” The Lord raised the bar on human life and the quality of life. The Christian is a man made whole. He is no longer fallen, he has risen. The Lord has lifted man to God, to Divine Love. To love no longer means “to give to those who give to you.” No, since God gave when we gave nothing Love means to give until it hurts! The first fruits of love are forgiveness and compassion. The last words uttered by Christ are the first fruits of redemption: “Father, forgive them…” The Christian knows how to forgive because his master taught him how to forgive: unconditionally. To love means to place no limits. God is limitless.

To “love your enemy” is to transform an enemy. The Lord changed our lives forever! Christ has lifted man upon his shoulders and the world too. To love your enemies is a badge of courage, a Christian tattoo, the devil’s taboo.


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