Our Gospel reading is a continuation of Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain.” Last week we heard “blessed are you” and “woe to you”; this week Jesus makes it very clear how we are to treat others. What He says is a challenge to hear and difficult to do. But if we think we are followers of Christ and are not doing our best to grow in our ability to respond to these challenges, we are deceiving ourselves. What are these challenges?
Twice Jesus tells us to love our enemies and do good to them. Can you imagine how different our country would be if all who called themselves Christians were able to do this? Yet, sometimes the temptation is to sweep this into the background and, instead, pray or go to church, because that is much easier. Our religious observance is crucial and we need to do it, but to HELP us live these challenges, not avoid them.
Jesus ends by making it clear how serious this is: we will be judged as we judge, we will be condemned as we condemn, we will be forgiven only as we are able to forgive. This is serious stuff that merits our reflection this week. And as we reflect, let us pray for each other that we may be able to continue growing in our ability to love, forgive, and be merciful, as Jesus always is with us.
Church sign of the week: Jesus says, “No, I’m not talking about Twitter. I literally want you to follow me.”