Today we continue hearing from Luke’s Chapter 6. He is writing in about the year 80 C.E. for the new Christian communities scattered mostly around the Mediterranean. These communities were mixed — some members could draw from the ethical code of their Hebrew heritage, but most were from other religious traditions or from none at all. The Gospel writers are editors, not eyewitnesses recording what Jesus was doing or saying. In this Chapter 6, Luke gathered together what he heard and read regarding Jesus’ teachings about behavior; he is laying out the ethics for the Christian communities. In the last two weeks we heard about the beatitudes and other teachings of Jesus. Today we hear very challenging additional sayings of Jesus. The one about loving our enemies is especially prominent in this passage, and difficult to live out. Note that Luke gives us lots of practical examples of enemies. They are not just people who might physically kill us. They are also those who hate us, who mistreat us, take from us, don’t pay back money we lend them, etc. This Gospel passage ends with another equally difficult admonition: “Stop judging … forgive and you will be forgiven…” My dear departed Aunt Rose used to lament, “Sister Mary, why do we always hear the same readings year after year? Why can’t they give us something new?” Well, old as I am, I am still working on loving my enemies and not judging. How about you?
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia