Any comment that I might make on the Gospel we are about to hear – S t Luke 6:27-38 – would only serve to take away from its stark demand.

Our Lord sets before us, in quite stark terms, the Christian standard of how we are to behave towards others. He teaches that those who wish to belong to his kingdom must act towards others as God the Father acts towards us. He says that as God is generous with us, we must show the same generosity to others.

This new vision of how Christians are to behave is summed in Jesus saying: ‘be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.’

This radical teaching initially consisted of different sayings by Jesus at various times in his public ministry. St Luke, some 45+ years later, gathered these sayings together and presented them in the narrative form we have them now.

The meaning of each saying is stark and gathered together they present the Christian with a radical challenge of how Jesus expects us to treat others in the various situations in life in which we find ourselves.

Some sayings will strike us more than others and, perhaps, present us with an uncomfortable challenge. We will pray later in the Intercessions for the grace to do as Christ asks.

So now let us hear this Gospel as if we are hearing it for the first time. We then will follow it with three minutes of silence which will allow us to reflect on these sayings, consider how we fall short of what Jesus asks, and how we might grow towards what Jesus requires of us to be his disciple …

Michael Campion
Holy Name, Jesmond
20 February 2022

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