February 18, 2007 Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1Samuel 2: 7-23* Psalm 103: 1-4,8,10-13*
1Cor. 15: 45-49* Luke 6: 27-38
Luke relates an incident in Christ's earthly teaching journey in a Jewish society. Jews did not take well to non-Jews. They were hated heathens, gentiles, dogs. Only Jews had a right to live. Therefore, when Jesus proposed love of enemies. They were aghast.
Do good to those who harm you?
Loan, expecting no return?
Love you're enemies?
The people hearing these proclamations knew He was weird. However, in His discourse, He closed with some words of ponderence. Don't these sinners offer love to those who love in return?
Don't they forgive their friends?
The message to His disciples and us is doing the ordinary only makes you human.
To do less is sub-human! To do more is super-human!
Jesus then relates a word-picture all of them would understand clearly. When a consumer went to a merchant for a commodity, like wheat, there were no zip-lock bags of even paper bags with which to measure or transport. So, the individual would take the corners of his tunic or apron and form a receptacle. The merchant would then pour the commodity into the formed receptacle. The measure wasn't accurate but the merchants favored some consumers. God's love is always generous to those who love, console and forgive. He gives in proportion to our giving.
David took to heart his selection by God as Saul's successor. He wasn't going to supersede God's anointed by dispatching him with his own weapon. David instead killed Saul with kindness in opposition to the culture in which he lived. Saul is hardly remembered, as one of Israel's Kings, while David is hailed, not only as a prudent King, but as the ancestral line from which our savior descends.
The Psalmist reminds us of God's care for us. We bless His Name, that is, Himself. For He forgives where forgiveness isn't sought, consoles us in our trials, forgives us our sins but not in the way of the world which remembers forever. Rather He hides the sinner in His bosom and forgives him even if his repentance is frivolous. The psalm is a reiteration of God's prayer for us, "Forgive me as I forgive".
Paul writes to his Corinthian community and advises them to become like Christ as He became one of us. Created man rebelled against God's wishes, but Christ lived as though he was the embodiment of God. He was able, therefore, able to send His Spirit among us to dwell in our hearts until we are.