The Way To Peace & Harmony: Will You Follow It?

love-your-enemies

7th Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year C

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: February 24, 2019

If someone offered you a way that could lead to peace and harmony in our world, in your family, in our lives, would you embrace it?  Imagine a way to peace in the world, in our families, in our lives.

Well, Jesus offered that to us in the gospel we just heard.  Following this way of Jesus would lead to such peace.  But, it is a way that turns upside down our way of thinking and acting, it is a way that our world simply thinks is silly.  If we lived by this gospel way of Jesus it would make the biggest impact of anything we could do to make our world and families better places.

This is the great test of our faith.   Not going to church on Sunday, but living this way of Jesus that we just heard in Luke’s Gospel.

There are many in our world today who claim to be protecting Christianity, while acting in a way that is directly opposite of the Gospel we just heard.  It is truly radical, yet the only way to true peace and harmony.  What is this way Jesus presents?  Let us listen carefully.

Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you?  Love your enemies.  give expecting nothing in return.  Do not judge.  Do not condemn.  Forgive.  Give.  Be Merciful.

Well, are you ready to follow this way?  If we are honest, when we look in our world, in our lives, we see that our nations prefer guns and weapons, we prefer vengeance and getting even with others, we are often upset because we feel we did not get what we deserve.  So, we continue to follow a path that is destructive, divisive.

Once upon a time there were two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals.  Their stores were across the street from each other, and they would spend each day sitting in the doorway, keeping an eye on each other’s business.  If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at this rival.

One night, an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, “God has sent me to teach you a lesson.  He will give you anything you ask for, but I want you to know that, whatever you get, your competitor across the street will get twice as much.”

The angel said, “Would you like to be wealthy?  You can be very wealthy, but he will be twice as rich.  Do you want to lead a long and healthy life?  You can, but his life will be longer and healthier.  You can be famous, have children you will be proud of, whatever you desire.  But whatever is granted to you, he will be granted twice as much.”

The man frowned, thought for a moment, and said, “Alright, my request is this:  strike me blind in one eye.”

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.  But, we say that is not possible, we prefer our vengeance, our getting even.  We do not want the non-violent way of Jesus.

God’s mercy revealed by Jesus is a scandal to our world.

God’s mercy is beyond our imagination.

But, it is the key to peace, and you and I living mercy in our lives is the key to the possibility of peace and harmony in our world, in our families, in our lives.

Jesus offers us a way to peace in today’s Gospel, will we embrace it?

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