FR. ANDREW WRITES:-
In our world today it can be tempting to react immediately to situations. It is an instant culture that we live in. Instant news, instant loans, instant information, perhaps even an instant headache!
One country fires a missile close to another country. Or a brother of a famous leader is murdered. What does the other country do? Do they react immediately? Or do they wait?
The standard response would be to respond immediately.
Scripture as always has something to say. In today’s first reading from Leviticus it says,
‘You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.’
And so that implies.’ You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people.’
And do what?
‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’
That is all fairly straightforward.
And the Gospel from St Matthew Jesus says,
‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’
That is much more of a challenge, as it goes contrary to human nature but then again the Gospel is counter cultural!
Imagine if that really happened on this earth? If everyone loved their enemies and prayed for their persecutors. What a different sort of world it would be, a much better and more peaceful place. And who is going to start this change? It’s up to you and I. How is that possible? Only with God’s help can we make a difference. And our response? In this case it should be instantaneous!