Weekly Missionary Reflection
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 20 February 2022
1Sam. 26:2,7-9,12-13,22-23; Ps. 103:1-2,3-4,8,10,12-13; 1Cor. 15:45-49; Luk. 6:27-38
Love your enemies! (v. 27). This is an agape love: one-way love, sacrificial and unconditional love. This is not friendship love (philia) or romantic love (eros). To love the enemies is the clearest example of one-way love: it is not just unconditional love, but it is the love returned with hatred and anger! How can we actualize the love to our enemies? Jesus’ guidance is reflected in three words: do good, bless, pray. First, do good to those who hate you (v. 27c). Do righteous, honest, and sincere for the good sake of those who hate us. Second, bless them who curse you (v. 28). Blessing is an act of the Lord. Human can just ask for the blessing: for himself or others. Therefore, we ask God to bless those who curse us. Third, pray for those who abuse you (v. 28b). Those who despise us before humans will be exalted before God. Those who humiliate us should be prayed before the Lord. Before God, we just want and ask the best for others, especially those who are hostile and do bad to us. That is the hardest test of love: to love till death, like Jesus Himself.
Jesus also gives us the “golden rule” (cf. Lev. 19:18; Tob. 4:15): “Do to others as you would have them to do to you” (v. 31). Focus on what I should do to others, instead of what they should do to me. “My right” to be treated well must be converted to “my duty” to treat others well. Prioritize the duty to do good. So we give more to those who strike and take from us (v. 29). In this way, love will break the chain of revenge and hatred. True love should break the circle of recompense. Repaying others’ kindness is human and common. But the Lord wants His followers to be above the common level. Leave the principle of do ut des: I give so that you give! Repay evil with good, plunder with gift, hatred with forgiveness, violence with peace.
In the eyes of the world, true love looks like committing suicide. In the eyes of faith, that is the highest love, moved by two essential motivations. First, we believe that God will judge us according to the measure we give to others (v. 38). As God will give us abundantly, we are driven to give generously. Second, You and I have experienced God as the merciful Father (v. 36). The Father has given us Himself and His love through His Son. The experience of being loved should drive us to give and love more, especially to those who hate and don’t do us good in return.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For Universal Churches: For the nuns and women living a life of devotion
We pray for the nuns and women living a life of devotion; we thank them for their mission and courage; may they keep on finding ways in responding to the challenge of this new era.
For Indonesian Churches intention: Plastic waste management sustainability
We pray that the individual or group effort to reduce and recycle plastic waste could lead to community empowerment efforts for it is supported by the government and social institutions.