Eucharistic Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Epiphany
Genesis 45:3 to11 and 15; Psalm 37:1 to12 and 41to 42;
1st Corinthians 15:35-38 and 42-50; Luke 6:27-38
“Jesus said, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
If we listen closely we will understand that Jesus is not speaking to everybody. He is only talking to those of us who will “listen.” And to listen in this context means to follow the inherent instruction. The instruction is to love everybody which includes those you have issues with.
All of us know full well we can have issues even with our own family members as well as people we work with. Jesus makes it easy for our relationships to not be about us losing. We must have in the mind of our heart, the words, “Let Love Lead” or (LLL). Love, Paul says, does not insist on its own way (1st Corinthians 13). In this way we don’t have to struggle with what response (or God forbid, retaliation) to do. We just LLL. (the Triple L) , or 3L.
Emotions are going to happen. We are human. And we sometimes say things like, “I hate you” or “I wish you were never born.” We often use words that describe what we felt at the time, only to regret them later. So let’s see; how about words like frustration or disappointment to describe the temporary nature of our ever-changing emotions? When anger tries to kick in, deny it, do not make room in your heart for it. Say no to anger but instead go into your vocabulary closet and pick out something more suitable, more Jesus-like to wear. Outfits like the dark suits of frustration or disappointment will work nicely for such occasions. Dump the anger suit in the dumpster.
Frustration and disappointment heal quickly and never leave the realm of love. And please know that God has already gifted us with the capacity to love everybody. If you can be frustrated or disappointed with certain people like family or friends, you can be frustrated or disappointed with anybody. If you can love certain people like family and friends, that you don’t always agree with, you can love all people. Love is an inexhaustible resource not a scarcity that we will run out of.
Are you listening to me right now? Remember, Jesus is only talking to those of us who are “listening.” And his message is clear, Let Love Lead; LLL. Thank You Lord Jesus.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John