Homily by Fr. Michael Casagram – 2/24/18 – Love Your Enemies

+LOVE YOUR ENEMIES                                                    7th Sunday (C) 2019

Jesus calling us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us are some of the most revolutionary words of all time. He is inviting us to enter into God’s very own loving mercy toward all people. All our human calculations fail in the face of who God is for us and how we are to be toward one another.

To claim to be Christian and yet hold hatred in our hearts is hypocrisy, to live contrary to the faith we profess but we all know how easy it is to hold resentment or hurt toward those who have harmed us in the past. The story of David with King Saul is so revealing of the mind of God. Saul was seeking to kill him and it is easy for us to identify with the suggestion of Abishai that David allow him to pin Saul to ground with one thrust of the spear but David forbids him knowing that Saul is God’s anointed.

There is the earthly and the heavenly in each of us as human beings. The first Adam in us is a living being, the second Adam a life giving spirit as St Paul speaks of in his letter to the Corinthians. Through our baptism we are all destined to bear the image of our heavenly Adam, the Christ. Are we ready to carry about with us at all times this consciousness of the heavenly Adam, the living and active Word of God? This is what gives meaning and daily happiness to our lives as Christians.

What a world we would be living in if only we as Christians put into practice what Jesus is asking of us in our gospel today. It means loving at all times, especially when the earthly person in us is inclined to become defensive or full of ill feeling toward others. It means giving without hope of being repaid, of becoming generous at all times with what we have received. We look for spiritual transformation in our lives and Jesus shows us how to arrive there quickly. For to love our enemies and do good to them completely changes our lives into living images of God’s own inner Trinitarian life. We become as Jesus tells us, God’s very own Children.

To do all that is being asked of us is way beyond our own powers. We cannot begin to forgive, to show mercy, to give, to love as Jesus is asking us to do by our own efforts and exertion. But it all becomes possible through the working of grace. Humbly knowing our weakness and relying on the gift of Divine help, we are made into a new creation after God’s own image and likeness.

The Eucharist we take and break at this Altar is the very Body and Blood of the living Christ. It is His living presence in us that allows us to accomplish all that is being asked of us in today’s gospel. He wants nothing so much as to feed us with His own Divine life so that it is no longer we that live but the Christ living in us. What we receive in our hand or on our tongue is what we become. We have only to know our need and let this life come to maturity in us.