Generous to a Fault

Thursday of Week 23 in Ordinary Time

It’s easier to love unloveable people in theory. Or people who live on the other side of the planet. Or people who are long gone whose unChristian deeds are forever etched in history. Loving unloveable people in reality is much harder. We all have someone on that list, not that they are unloveable, just that we find it difficult to love them. No one on your list? How about the person you won’t be voting for … would they be on your list? Now we’re talking. Jesus commanded us to love one another. Then he commanded us to love our enemies. Then he goes insane and tells us to turn the other cheek, expect no repayment, and bend over backwards for that neighbor who is a royal pain.

Today’s gospel passage is clearly an illustration of how our debt of love to God can only be repaid by loving our neighbor. God is in no need of our love. But our gratitude for God’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness finds its highest expression in our mercy, compassion, and forgiveness for our neighbor. God is generous to us to a fault. His own Son hanging on the cross prayed for those who wanted his destruction, “Father forgive them.” And we are asked to forgive our equals. God Almighty who loves us for no merit of our own, in fact as undeserving as we are, now urges us to love those who are undeserving of our love. Now we know what kind of frustration God has to deal with on a daily basis.

And that kind of generosity extends beyond what is reasonable. Love in a manner even better still than how most other people love, friends, sinners, celebrities, good people. Those who are his followers have to be distinctly different from all others by the way we love our neighbor … because it is exactly how God would love. Insane.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Pete Rupe.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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