Seventh Sunday (Luke 6:27-38)
We continue reading from Luke’s collection of the teachings of Jesus known as the ‘Sermon on the Plain’. The essence of this reading is found in verses 27 and 28. There is a radical new commandment here, given to all the disciples of Jesus, that we should love our enemies. This commandment is found in Matthew and Luke, in their respective collections of Jesus’ teaching, and in both gospels this new precept challenges the opinions of the contemporaries of Jesus: ‘I say this to you.’ The commandment is elaborated in the following verses and repeated in verse 35. We are called to be like God, because we are children of God.
Throughout Luke’s gospel Jesus reveals the compassion of God, and the call is for us to ‘be compassionate as your Father is compassionate’. The vocation of the Christian is not to ‘treat others as you would like them to treat you’, but, in a far more demanding manner, to ‘do as God does’.
To what extent do I live the gospel command to ‘love your enemies’?
Is compassion a guiding factor in my dealings with others?
Let us pray that we may truly imitate the love of Christ.
Let us pray for generosity of heart in all we do.
Eighth Sunday (Luke 6:39-45)
We continue reading from Luke’s collection of the teaching of Jesus known as the ‘Sermon on the Plain’. Jesus speaks first about the teacher and the disciple. If the teacher does not see clearly he will not be able to guide the disciple. And the disciple must respect his teacher and be willing to learn.
We need clear sight for ourselves too. We tend to prefer correcting others to recognizing our own faults. We can be blind to so much in ourselves and still insist on correcting others. Once again, Jesus is stressing the need for the teacher tom be a disciple first, to learn lessons, and then to give them.
The following verses speak of good and bad fruit. The teacher, and every faithful disciple, must produce good fruit. A good heart is necessary. This will be obvious when someone speaks, and, as the first reading from Ecclesiasticus maintains, conversation and speech are the ‘test of men’.
Am I more willing to direct others than to learn for myself?
Do I fool myself with false judgements about myself?
Let us pray for honesty and humility, and a readiness to learn especially from the poor and the inadequate.
Let us seek always to speak with integrity.
Fr Adrian Graffy