Counter
Love One Another
A Reflection by Rev. Robert Johnnene OFM for the 7th Sunday of Ordinary time February 24, 2019
Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus
Web Site: www.missionstsergius.org     Email: Divinemercyparish@msn.com

“I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If
someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
(Luke 6:27)
This Gospel passage is the key to open the door to heaven for every one of us and it was those who lived by this teaching of
Christ in every way every day of their lives that many became saints.  For some they heard the word and accepted it and began
fully implementing it in their lives from their conversion forward and for some it was being willing to die for Christ rather than
deny Him, but they all lived by loving all even their enemies and those who denounced them.
To live this teaching of Christ is possibly the most difficult thing for the average human being to do, but if we truly attempt to
follow what Luke repots Christ taught, we will find our lives happier.
We humans in this age, who profess to be believers in the teachings of Jesus Christ, seem to find it easier to not love each other
and to ignore or reject our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We usually want to either take revenge on those who do evil against us or at least wish them bad things, that is not what we as
Christians should be doing.
Often, we decide that because a person speaks a different language or has a different ethnic background, is divorced or was
created by God with same sex orientation, that they do not deserve the same kind of love that Jesus gave to all that he
encountered.
How do we justify this kind of action? Where in scripture can we find validation for our actions?  
There are some who use incorrect translations or out of context statements from scripture to justify their actions, but they do so
because it fits their personal agenda and makes them feel superior to others.
True love is unselfish, kind, merciful, forgiving and not judgmental. Christ in our Gospel from Luke tells us “Even sinner love
those who love them” and he also tells us; “Stop judging and you will not be judged, Stop condemning, and you will not be
condemned” Christ also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (John 14:
27)   
It is clear from this quote, that Jesus lets us know that the perceptions of the world are not the perceptions of God.  He implores
us in John 15:7 “If you live in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you want and it will be done for you”  
With Jesus as the vine and God as the “Vine grower” who tills and prunes the vine to keep it fresh and fruitful through the Holy
Spirit, we need to do our part as the “branches” and keep faithful to the teachings Jesus taught us, and pruning out those things
that humans have inserted for the purpose of control, power, prestige and wealth.  
We need to speak out against injustice, as Jesus did, wherever we encounter it.  We need to let our voices be heard when
governments, churches and business engage in acts that are unjust and discriminatory.
That is the call Christ has given to us.  It is possible that, just as Paul, Barnabas, Stephen and Christ himself experienced, we may
be rejected, disparaged and abandoned by even those who we thought of as friends and even our family.  That should not stop us
just as it did not stop them.  
We need to remember Christ’s admonition in John 15:5 “because without me you can do nothing”.
The Responsorial psalm emphasizes that; “The Lord is kind and merciful”
If we are to call ourselves believers, we need to begin to act in ways that show others that we believe and have Christ in us.  We
must act mercifully toward those who do evil to us or demean or bully or discriminate toward us.
We need to have our actions match our words.  If and when all of us begin to live in this way, then, possibly we will see
magnificent changes taking place in our nation and in the world.  Possibly we will witness a world where all people are respected
and provided for, just as Christ provided for those multitudes who followed him and turned a few loaves of bread and a few fish
into enough to feed them all and still have some left over.  
We are Christ’s army, a peaceful band of people bound with the seal of God’s love whose acts of compassion can counteract the
devils tools;  weapons of war,  greed, fame, seeking power and prestige in his attempt to take over God’s domain.
If we heed God’s call and live our daily lives according to Christ’s teachings of “Love one another as I have Loved you, there is no
greater love than this”, we will be assured that we will be one of those who Christ will welcome into heaven with; “Well done my
good and faithful servant. AMEN