Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:43-48 – 1st WEEK OF LENT: Saturday, 16 March 2019
When Jesus told us to love our enemies, He was deeply psychological in analyzing the problem. Jesus Himself would have gone mad if He had not forgiven the Pharisees. They were so hopelessly full of hate and envy.
Jesus couldn’t help guessing that they were hatching a plot to kill Him. Their efforts to trap Him and discredit Him were obvious to all. And when they did actually nail Him to the cross, Jesus showed us how to love and forgive. As He hung there in agony, He said, “Father, forgive them!”
Nothing but love in His heart, even at the worst hurt a man could ever suffer: complete rejection and murder. That kind of love, dear sisters and brothers, healed us, and washed away the worst of our sins! Forgiveness heals! That is what Jesus teaches us from His cross. That overpowering love from the Cross of Jesus is what heals the wounds of the world.
We know that Adam’s sin had lost that healthy,, happy, healing love. We know the story well enough. Adam and his two little boys, Cain and Abel, were walking one day in the desert, the hot sands burning their feet. Looking over at a fine, shady, wooded area in the distance, Abel asked, “Daddy, why can’t we live over there in that nice cool oasis?” Adam answered, “It’s your mother’s fault, boy! Sin robs us of love, so that we blame others for our faults, and then refuse to forgive.
God, however, doesn’t give up on us rebels. He sent us His divine Son Jesus, to restore that powerful divine healing love to us. Jesus teaches us. “Love and forgive. In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus came to restore us to that original love of Paradise, that love of the heavenly Father that makes Him “rain on the just and unjust alike”. What wise psychology, what a precious healing remedy, what a new vision of hope for the world!
Jakarta, 16 March 2019
A Christian Pilgrim