1 Samuel 26:2, 7, 9, 12-13, 22-23
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Today we hear an important message in all three of the Mass readings: All that the Lord God has created is to be treated as holy and belongs to Him; therefore, we are called to love others as God has loved us. Let me expand on that a bit.
In the first reading, David refused to harm King Saul because Saul was God’s anointed one. He treated Saul as he wanted to be treated, as God’s anointed one. David had been anointed also, as boy, a young shepherd. This was unknown to Saul, but David knew and did not flaunt it. He respected God’s timing, trusted God with all of his heart, and obeyed the Lord. In fact, during his kingship, David would go on to write most of the Psalms, describing to us 3000 years later, his confidence in God and we, too, can trust the Lord, especially in times of difficulty. Remaining faithful in times of hardship is how our faith is tested. And, when we fall, David teaches us repentance in Psalm 51 and reminds us in Psalm 95, what happens to those who test God with their insolence. David, even though he sinned greatly, was God’s anointed one. He repented of his sins and remained in God’s favor. God loves us too, despite our sinfulness.
In the second reading Paul reminds us that although we are physical beings, we are also spiritual beings. As Jesus is both fully man and fully divine, we also, made in His image and likeness, are fully human and fully spiritual. Both natures, our physical and spiritual, must be lived well. In order to live well, we must be fed well. Our physical nature is fed with good food, our spiritual nature must also be fed well by reading, studying, and putting our faith into practice every day. When we eat, we need to remember that it is God who created the food that we receive and thank Him for it, with a contrite heart. When we attend Mass and receive the True Bread from heaven, the Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, we truly need to be thankful with every essence of our being: our mind, body, and soul. Being thankful at this level is a complete and total submission to God and His will. God only wills the good for us, because that is what love is: willing the good for another.
In the gospel reading, Jesus tells us to love our enemy, because that is what distinguishes us from all others. So, if love is willing the good of another, then to love one’s enemy is to provide for their good. How do we do this? We pray for those who do harm to us. Lord have mercy; they know not what they do. We do not speak ill of those who do not love us. Lord, help him change his ways. We do not commit the sin of detraction against those who hate us. Lord, show her the path to you. We do not commit the sin of calumny against those who hold grudges against us. Lord, show her how to be merciful. We do not seek vengeance against those who have hurt us. Lord, be merciful in your judgement of him.
We do not waiver in our faith that God is the One who will judge us all, and therefore we shall not judge others. If we do, we will be held to the same standard at our own judgement. We ask God to be merciful on us, thus we must be merciful to all others. In the Our Father, we ask God to forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. We will be judged in the same measure that we judge others. Let us all reflect on this lesson that David, Paul, and Jesus teaches us: All that the Lord God has created is to be treated as holy and belongs to Him; therefore, we are called to love others as God has loved us.
Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP