Father Dave and Team Busted Halo discuss Luke 6:27-38, the passage in which Jesus tells us to love our enemies.
In this Gospel reading, Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Father Dave reflects on this, saying, “It is such a function of our modern world and social media… We tend to listen to and surround ourselves with people that are entirely like-minded, and people from whom we will not get criticism. We can unfriend. We can select our groups on social media and we can watch the one particular news channel that amplifies everything I already think. And Jesus asks, ‘What credit is it if you love those who only love you;’ what’s the big deal there?” Father Dave points out that it is important for us to find common ground in our shared dignity, and we are called to be humble and give of ourselves without counting the cost.
“These days, one could easily swap out some words and hear Jesus saying, ‘What credit is it to you, if you only liked the people that watch the same news channel as you? What credit is to you if you only hang out with people of your same ethnic origin?’ People matter, count, and are worth something. But beyond that, people who are different from me matter. And to say that, ‘I want to love you. I want to lift you up. I want to be merciful and kind to you, even if you’re not doing that to me. And particularly, especially if you’re not doing that to me’ I know that’s tough, we’re very insular, but we need to evolve. Jesus has been saying it for 2000 years. That doesn’t mean any of this is easy, but we won’t survive like this. This attitude is not suitable and sustainable.”
Father Dave points out that this Gospel reading calls us to be merciful to everyone, not just the people who treat us well. Christina responds, “A large part of the Christian life is dying to self. This purification so that we can become more like Christ. Jesus also says in the Gospel of John, ‘They’ll know you’re disciples by the way that you love one another.’ Are we really displaying that we are disciples if we’re not loving one another? Even the ones we find hard to love.” Christina shares that she was talking to a priest recently about the Mercy of God. She asked about the line between his mercy and justice. The priest explained to her, “If you are judging the way that God does and you are merciful to your neighbor, those who hurt you, to the poor; you have nothing to fear from God judging you. God will judge you by the measure with which you judge others and show them mercy.”