Jesus said to his disciples: "To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back." When you hear these words of Jesus to us today in the gospel of Saint Luke 6:27-38, what is your reaction because these instructions of Jesus are really very tough to understand, comprehend and practice. How does one love his enemy? How can you do good to people who hate you? How does bless someone who curses him/her? How do you even think of praying for those who mistreat you? How exactly possible is it to not retaliate for an evil done to you and even try to help the person out! These are extremely difficult and kind of impossible to do, we say to ourselves, but that is false. Look at what David did in the first reading from the First Book of Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23, he spared the life of Saul who wanted to kill him. Also think about the act of love shown us by Jesus in dying on the cross for us who rejected, condemned, crucified and murdered Him. Think about St. Stephen who prayed for those who stoned him to death. Think about many other Apostles and Saints who prayed for and showed love to those we persecuted and even killed.

Yes indeed, these words of Jesus can be done because He has done it Himself, others have done so as well and because love leads us to goodness as children of God. Jesus is not asking us to fall in love with our enemies which seems to be our greatest challenge but just to care for the enemies wellbeing, be gracious and generous to them, never to repay evil for evil or violence for violence and to try to see the good in them because they are made in God’s image and likeness.

So what should we do to live out the gospel of love and to answer Jesus’s call to be merciful like our Heavenly Father is merciful?

Firstly, establishing or building a better relationship with God, not when in need, not when we are here in the Church and not only on Sundays, but every single day of our life.

Secondly, by paying attention to God’s love for us, evident in His blessings, graces and mercies upon us.

Lastly, by reciprocating God’s love for us in the way we love others especially those who hate or dislike us. Remember how often we offend God and choose sin over Him. Remember how He continuously forgives and pardons our sins. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is time to defeat hatred with love, heal injuries with forgiveness and destroy evil with goodness as Jesus tells us in today’s gospel reading. Never forget that love conquers all and God continues to show us His love so that we can share His love with all.