The Gospel reading for Sept 6th is St. Matthew 5: 38 - 48. This is an extremely important chapter for christians, because this is where Jesus addresses his followers and provides them with the roadmap to 'christian living'. It is in fact, the most powerful sermon delivered to mankind by the son of God, who practiced what He preached. It is called 'The Sermon on the Mount'. St. Matthew chpater 5 describes it in detail. Here, Jesus delivered something entirely different from what Moses taught the Israelites.
The Sermon on the Mount starts off with the 8 beatitiudes and describes how a human being should live his life. An average reader of the Bible can understand it clearly because of it's simple language. The reading for Sunday talks about retaliation and 'love your enemies'.
St. Matthew 5:38 - 48
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'
39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
When Jesus talks about retaliation, the crowd is amazed because so far, they have been 'taking eye for an eye' and an 'arm for an arm'. Jesus teaches us that we must not return evil for evil, instead seek the good of those who wish us evil. This is what makes a Christian different from others - by treating everyone and even those who hate us, with loving kindness and mercy.
It's almost impossible to even imagine how to love those who hate us. But when we accept God into our lives, when we believe in the love of Holy Spirit, we get the power to forgive and forget. It provides us with the power to overcome revenge, hatred, and hence love our enemies.
Credits: The Holy Bible