Read Romans 12:5-16, Ps. 131, Luke 14:15-24

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14)

For anyone who is worldly-minded, the Christian faith hardly makes any sense. Yesterday, Jesus told us that when we throw parties, we should invite the lame, the blind, the beggars, etc., since they cannot repay us. Today, St. Paul says we should bless our enemies.

This teaching of St. Paul reflects the words of Jesus in Luke 6:29-30: “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you, and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.”

A lot of us identify as Christians, but we do not believe in blessing those who persecute us. Even some Men of God teach their congregation to bring imaginary guns to church to shoot and kill their enemies. Some Christians even consult with witch doctors and all kinds of demonic cults to deal with whoever offends them. We say we are Christ-like, but when it comes to our persecutors, we are so unlike Christ.

Now, the question is: How do we bless those who persecute us? Think of the other person as an extension of yourself. Whatever evil you do against another (even if they sinned first against you) comes back to you. We are all one in this universe. St. Paul begins today’s reading by saying: “Brethren, we though many, are one body in Christ, and individually, members of one another.” (Romans 12:5).

You may not like those who hurt you, but at least be kind to them if you are in a position to help them. Be like David, who spared the life of Saul when he had a chance to kill him in his sleep. The good you do to your enemies will come back to you as a reward from God.

Do not be like the men in the parable Jesus gave us in today’s Gospel passage who gave excuses. Sometimes, we want God to understand why we had to deal with those who treated us badly. There should be no excuse. Be good to everyone. This world is a very small village.

Saint of the Day: Today, we remember Saint Peter Ou, one of the martyrs of China. He was born to a non-Christian family. He was known from his youth for his sense of justice, defence of the poor and oppressed and outspoken nature. He was a husband and self-made businessman. He owned and ran a large hotel before becoming a convert to the Christian faith. Peter tossed out his idols and preached Christianity to anyone who came by. He was arrested on 3 April 1814 during a violent backlash against the faith and was later condemned to death for refusing to step on a crucifix.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, touch my heart to love my enemies just as you love me. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 31 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 12:5-16, Ps. 131, Luke 14:15-24).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu