Love for Enemies
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
Of The Eleventh Week In Ordinary Time
In reading this Gospel Passage I am reminded of two relevant incidents from the Old Testament.
a) The cyclic advancement of evil as illustrated by the story of Lamech (Genesis 4). He murders a young boy, for possibly just pushing him. Lamech is inspired by his ancestor Cain evil of murdering his brother Abel, and God granting Cain protection. So Lamech comes home and announces to his two wives what he has done, and claims protection for himself 70 times 7, i.e. perpetual protection for himself. This is what evil is, it begets itself many times over.
b) Adam contravened/opposed the nature of how he was created, that is, in God being part of him, he was complete. This is illustrated by the mention of what happened after he broke the command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge. God knows what has happened, and as yet he comes to meet Adam as was his custom, to walk and talk with Adam & Eve in the cool of the day. God was not concerned about Adam and Eve’s disobedience, he was more interested in they having a transparent relationship with Him, and acknowledging their fault. Humanity through Adam and Eve failed, they let their doubt of who God Is, get the better of it and rejected God.
Jesus is exhorting us in this passage; know who God Is – i.e. a Good and Trustworthy God. All of the Old Testament attests to his faithfulness and steadfast love of Israel. Understanding this, pay attention to His – Jesus’ words, ‘Stop the perpetuating of evil, by showing faith in our God who is faithful. Do not give evil for evil, but pay evil with self-sacrifice, trusting your Good God to take care of you.’ Jeff Cavins in explaining Jacobs Wrestling Match with God/Angel, explains that the point; God was teaching Jacob that he needs to trust God. Yes Jacob had many insecurities and problems, but he needs to come to Him-God and wrestle with him with those problems and insecurities, and he/we will be blessed. So too with this near impossible exhortation of Jesus; trust God, take to God everything, Good, very Good, Bad, Very Bad, wrestle with Him in prayer. The immediate outcome may look unpleasant, but be assured, since our Good God has let it come our way – it is for our profit and we will be blessed by it in the end.