7th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2022
Luke 6:27-38 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022022.cfm
ONLY CARNIVORES EAT RAW MEAT.
There is nothing like catching a whiff of a great steak cooking slowly on a grill. If we are visiting someone, the question, “How do you like your steak?” always comes up. How would we feel if we were visiting someone and they put a raw piece of meat on a plate in front of us? We would think it was a joke. “You are kidding, right?” we would say. If they were serious, we would have to leave. We wouldn’t even take a bite. The whole thought is ridiculous.
That is what Jesus is getting at in today’s gospel. The word RAW comes to mind when He tells us to love our enemies and do good to those who hurt us. The moment someone abuses us somehow, we feel the RAW pain deep inside. It overwhelms our thoughts and emotions—it stares in the face. We can’t see clearly.
I just thought of something: we wouldn’t serve someone a raw piece of meat, but sometimes we don’t think twice about serving them our raw feelings of anger and pain. Now, here is the clincher. If Jesus tells us to love our enemy and be good to those who hurt us, He knows we can do it. We are not animals that chew the raw feelings that plague us over time. So how do we get past those feelings?
Before I ask mercy on my enemy, I ask the Lord to have mercy on myself. I leave the animal behind me. Welcome to the child of God you and I are, yes, even to our enemy. Ok, we can’t do it alone. If we try to do it by willpower, it never lasts.
We need a fundamental change in our person, a transfiguration from darkness into light, pain into healing freedom that looks back at what happened and laughs. Not at the person who hurt us, but at ourselves, even thinking we would consume something so RAW, even for a moment. If we do, it becomes who we are. If we did in the past, put it on the grill of Jesus burning love for us. He already knows how we like your steak.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC