Friday, February 18, 2011

Reflections Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time C- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time C: Reflections by Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo
Readings: 1 Sam 26:2, 7-9,12-13,22-23; Ps 103:1-4, 8,10,12-13; 1 Cor 15:45-49 and Luke 6:27-38

Trials of Supernatural Endurance

The story in today’s first reading is a powerful faith story. It is a story of how we can love. A story of how we can be merciful unto one another. A story of how we can endure hatred and difficulties. It is a story of how vunerable we can also become sometimes, even when we presume we have it all. It is a story of how we can respect consecrated persons and things. It is a story of how we can respect one another the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is a story of how we can forgive including those we know are not on our side.

Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, the first King of Israel, because of David’s popularity became envious of David. He sought to kill.  David fled from Saul’s army to the wilderness of Ziph with his friend Abishai. David as God would have it discovered where Saul was hiding and sleeping in the other side of the camp. His body guard and commanders including Abner were also asleep. All the deadly weapons that Saul and his military had were laying helplessly to their own detriment. In fact, Saul’s spear was stuck to the ground next to his neck and head.

Abishai, David’s friend suggested that the available spear be used to nail him to the ground for  immediate slaughter, but David for the second time spared Saul’s life, for he was God’s anointed.

Saul’s sins against David did not make Saul less anointed king of Israel. Sparing Saul’s life shows us how we can endure with God’s grace trials and all forms of injustices in this life, and how we can forgive and forgive in this life ( Matt 18:21-22).

I am positive that at least once in our life time we may have offended our neighbors before. And there are times at once we may have felt offended also. David teaches us to forgive and pardon during those circumstances.

St. Paul in Romans 12:17-21 says,

“Do not repay anyone evil; be concerned with what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, in your part, live at peace with all. Beloved do not look for vengeance, but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rather if your enemy is hungry feed him/her; if he is thirty give him something to drink, for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”

David really had a great heart. And David’s greater Son Jesus had a great heart of love of mercy and forgiveness. Jesus taught us how to pursue the right thing the right way not the wrong way.  In Luke 4:5- 8 Jesus refuses Satan’s short cut to the cross. He never works miracles to promote himself except, God. He updated the commandment of revenge to forgiveness.

In the Gospel of today (Luke 6: 27-38), He updated the rule of love of those who love you to that of love everybody including our enemies. We are to bless those who curse us and pray for those that have maltreated us as well as be charitable in passing judgment on our neighbors.  Christ also wants us to do to others what we would love done to us- the golden rule (Matt 7:12). Like David and Saul the foundation of this is God’s love. In John 13:34 he says, “I give you a new commandment, says the Lord, love one another as I have loved you, (to the cross).”

 Since we are Christ’s own let us pray at this worship for the greatness of the heart of love, endurance, mercy and forgiveness to those who have offended us, and forgiveness from those we have offended.  And may we always seek for an opportunity to love rather than to revenge.
Peace be with you!