The Gospel of the day (Luke 6, 24-30) Woe to you!

24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

The forgiveness of the enemies – a divine attitude

Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies at Genesis, homily XXVII, VIII, in Church Fathers and Writers (1987), vol. 21, pp. 347-348

Think, my beloved, how great is this virtue of loving your enemies among the rewards promised by God to the universe of those who accomplish this virtue. After He said: Love your enemies, bless those who persecute you, pray for those who upset you (Matthew 5, 44), He added as the commandments reached right the highest level of virtue:  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5, 45).

Did you see to whom resembles that one who according to his human powers does not take revenge on his enemies but even tries to pray for them? Let us not deprive ourselves because of our idleness of such gifts and rewards which are beyond any word but by any means let us try to accomplish this virtue, forcing and teaching our mind to obey the commandment of God. That is why I made this urge, I spoke about this parable, I showed how great this virtue is and what a great gain we have from it because as long as we still have time everyone of us should try with all his might if he has any enemy to reconcile with him, showing him a great love. Do not tell me that that you implored him once or twice and he refused reconciliation.

If we do this from the bottom of our heart, then we will not leave him until we conquer him with our great insistence, until we won`t attract him and convince him to give up on the hate he has for us. Do you think you do any good to that one? No. We do a good to ourselves. With this deed we attract God`s benevolence towards us, we receive beforehand the absolution for our sins and we get courage before God. If we reconcile with our enemies we will be able to approach with a clear conscience this saint and frightening table and utter boldly those words comprised by the prayer we say when we commune.

Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies at Genesis, homily XXXIV, I, in Church Fathers and Writers (1989), vol. 22, p. 5

„(…) let us do not get angry on those who harm us – (…) this is the highest philosophy


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