SEPTEMBER 9. Ord Time B. Wk 23. Thu. Lk 6. 27-38
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’
Today’s reading is made up of part of St Luke’s reporting of the Sermon on the Mount, where Christ gives the most detailed explanation and summary of the teachings accompanying the introduction of the New Testament.
Although St Matthew gives a more comprehensive account the teachings included in today’s gospel certainly address some of Christ’s core teachings. There are many locations in the gospel where Jesus is addressing crowds, but we are not given any summary of the content of his teachings.
We can be assured however the content of Christ’s talks to his people have all been passed on to us via today’s sermon; - together with the many teachings contained within the Gospels and the writings of St Paul.
God has never left his people without sound teaching and guidance in both the Old and New Testaments; - so at the end of our time on earth none of us will be able to claim we did not know what he wants of us. We have been told in multiple formats; - and we continue to be guided by his church.
We should give thanks for this guidance and teachings because without it there would be many claiming to teach what is right, and we would have no way of determining who was speaking on God’s behalf. .
Instead, we have one person; - the Son of God; - who confirmed his divinity by rising from the dead; - who left us the Church and the gospels; - who continues to abide with us in the Holy Eucharist; - and who forgives us our sins via the sacrament of Confession.
God is doing his part, in letting his people know what he wants of us, which means we have a responsibility to study the Gospels and follow the teachings of his Church; - and we ignore them at our peril. We also have the assistance of divine grace via both prayer and sacrament!
Gospel Acclamation 1Jn4:12
If we love one another,
God will live in us in perfect love.
First reading Colossians 3:12-17 · Be clothed in love
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.