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Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Lord says ... Matthew 5:38-48


38 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. 40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. 41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, 
and pray for those who persecute you, 
45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, 
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, 
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48 "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

These words are easier said than done. Holding grudges is the biggest obstacle preventing you from loving your enemy.

I can’t count anymore how many times in my life that I held grudges and how many times I forgave those who wronged me, as well.  In spite of this, regardless of whoever wronged me in the past, whether a family member or a friend, moving on is important. Though it’s hard, the will to forgive somebody is emotionally and spiritually rewarding, thus providing a good relief to your whole being. But the problem arises when you don’t know if somebody is holding a grudge against you or not also.  If you  have  done something not to cause any harm to someone intentionally, but unknowingly caused somebody to hold a grudge against you, what will you do?

One instance, when I was already all packed up to travel again, a friend of mine called up to ask a favor.  She wanted me to bring something for her family member.  I denied her request because one bag was already full of my sister’s items to be given to her family members, while the other bag was full of my items to be given to my own family members.  I didn’t have anymore space for my own personal items to use.  Beforehand,  I even asked my own elder daughter to lend me some dress to wear for I brought only my underwears.  I thought my friend understood me, but I was wrong. 

When I came back from my travel, I called her first among my other friends to find out how she was doing.  Her husband answered the phone and he called her, but after a few minutes, the call was cut off.  I wondered why my call was cut off.  So I tried calling her up again twice, but the line got busy already. With the thought of giving her some vegetables from our garden, I called her up again the following week.  She answered the phone, but she lambasted me with unkind words and hung up on me afterwards.  Since then I stopped calling her, until we met one time in a shopping mall.  I greeted her and her husband and she told me that all was well with her feelings.  I explained my side to her and she said she had no grudge against me anymore.  Actually, I had forgiven her for her rudeness towards me even before she forgave me.  I just embraced her, talked with them for a while, and then walked away…..

" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 

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