But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (`Matthew 5: 44-48)
How should we live this Word
Without a doubt, today’s text of Jesus’ Word represents one of the most difficult and most sublime pages of the whole Gospel. His precept and the others from the Discourse on the Mountain, sound unreal, impossible, and even naïve to the people of today. How is it possible to live in today’s society and maintain a minimum of civil order?
The role of Jesus and His disciples is not that of managing a ‘politically correct’ order in society, but to bring a ray of light to its very core, a sign of what the Kingdom will be one day. The Kingdom, where God will be all in all and His love will inundate the universe, is a merciful love that never repays evil with evil, but responds to evil with good and overcomes evil and transcends it by transforming the heart of the evil-doer.
Only the power of God can really overcome evil. It is a power that is called ‘Mercy’ and that can often seem subversive in the eyes of this world. However, only this can illumine the earth, this ‘flower bed that makes us so ferocious’ (Dante’s Paradise Lost), with a ray of heavenly light, a reflection of the Father’s Mercy.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will live this Jubilee of Mercy with the generous effort to banish from my heart every spirit of vendetta, violence, and intolerance so as to be merciful like the Father.
Jesus, make my heart like Yours!
The Voice of Pope Francis
We wish to live this Jubilee Year in the light of the Lord’s Word: Merciful like the Father. The evangelist narrates Jesus’ teaching that says: “Be merciful and Your Heavenly Father is merciful”. It is a program of life, as demanding as it is rich in joy and peace.