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. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
In this world, nobody can take anything away from us. Nothing. Nada. Zip… Oh, don’t get me wrong – people can steal from us, lie to us, cheat us, hurt us, imprison us, beat us, and even kill us. But, nobody except for God and ourselves controls our Souls. Our Eternal Salvation is right there for all of us and we are the masters of our Destiny. Through God’s Grace, nobody, but us, can take Heaven away from us. Jesus’ command in the Gospel here is pretty clear. No matter what anyone else does, we are not to jeopardize our Souls by engaging in the retributory behavior mentioned here. Faith doesn’t make things easy; it just makes them Possible. This world is about us and God; it is not about us and them. There’s a wonderful poem called, “Do It Anyway” that was found hanging on the wall in Mother Teresa’s room in Calcutta, India. I encourage everyone to read that poem (or re-read it) – it’s a sobering call to love of what Jesus is calling us to do in this Gospel. None of us can do what Jesus is asking us to do here – but, all of us can try. Remember, the results are up to God, but it’s up to us to be as Faithful as we can as we travel on towards our Eternal Resting Place with God. God is ready to help us and Jesus runs this race right along side of us. So, cry-out to Jesus as often as you can – He always answers our calls and He knows how hard this world is. After all, He died on a cross to give us this Gift – we shouldn’t be afraid to open It!