1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-231 Corinthians 15: 45-49Luke 6: 26-38
It is close to exactly 2000 years since the words of Jesus which were just heard, as recorded by Saint Luke, were spoken. Almost 2000 years and still we are far from these words being taken seriously by ourselves in our individual lives and by our society. Especially is this disconcerting in the case of a nation that frequently takes pride in proclaiming its Christian roots and its Christian values.
Often, I suspect, our response to what Jesus was saying is that he is too idealistic, perhaps too naive, or not realistic and not living in the real world. It is this last description that must make us stop and think. After all, what is it that we profess as our Faith? What is it that is fundamental to our belief? These words are not pious thoughts of some great human teacher or some wise philosopher or prophet. These words are spoken by God who became man in the person of Jesus Christ. They are spoken by God who ultimately created and gave life to all of humanity. If we want to understand how best we are to live out what we are, here it is. What is being presented to us some 2000 years after it was declared the first time is simply an outline, a description, of the reality of what we are to be, how we are to live and act as creations of a loving God.
Do we really want o know what it is all about, being alive in our world? Do we want to understand how best to live this gift of life we have and we share? It is here in the words Jesus speaks: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
But, we still doubt, we still are skeptical. It is then that we must look at the image that is boldly put in front of us here in this church. It is the image of Christ, the crucified Lord. Despite his teaching, despite the ways in which he healed and restored so many, the result was that he was betrayed by one who was supposed to be his friend and he was handed over by leaders of his own people to be executed. His death on the cross was not the end. Rather – and this is our Faith- it was the means by which the God-man proved the validity of what he was saying. He was not mistaken. He was not defeated He overcame even death itself. The crucifixion led to theResurrection.
It is exactly this point that Saint Paul wishes to make in writing to the Corinthians, as well as to us. As we are united with Adam in the humanity we share, we are united with Christ in his Resurrection by the Faith we declare.
2000 years ago these words of Jesus were spoken. 2000 years later we are called upon to take these words to heart, to make these words real and active in our lives, and through our lives to make them real and active in our society and our world. Living the teachings of the God-man Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives, is the true way that we experience and our world comes to know our good and gracious God.