Love Your Enemies
Question: How many of you like to win at games? What games have you played lately? What games did you win ?
First Reading: 1 Samuel 26:2,7-9,12-13,22-23
Like many friends, Alison and Katie were different. Alison was tall and slender, while Katie was short but muscular. Alison was quiet and liked to read, while Katie was loud and liked to play sports. Alison was polite, while Katie was rough.
One day at the park, Katie challenged Alison to king of the hill on the climbing structure. The tall Alison ran and made it to the top first, but Katie fought her way up and pushed Alison off the top. Suddenly, Alison slipped and fell; she landed on her back. When Alison got up, she complained Katie was playing way too roughly. But, Katie proclaimed her victory with an evil laugh. With hurt feelings, Alison walked away in silence.
David played a version of king of the hill. He silently took King Saul's spear, the sign of his royal power. Then, on top of a hill, David challenged Saul to come and get it. David embarrassed Saul but he refused to kill Saul when he had the chance. Even though Saul was David's enemy, the king was in God's hands. David would be king some day, but that day would be set God, not by David.
Sometimes, we need to put our friendships in God's hand, especially when we fight with our friends. And we always need to put our enemies in God's hands.
Bridging Questions: What makes someone a good winner? A good loser? How can competitive games break up friendships?
Gospel: Luke 6:27-36
Jesus told his followers:
Everyone who can hear me. Listen to what I say to you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Speak well of those who spread evil about you. And pray for those who insult you. To the enemy that hits you on the one cheek, show him the other to hit. If an enemy steals your jacket, don't keep your shirt from him. If someone wants something from you, give it freely. If someone borrows something from you, don't ask for it back. Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.
If you just love those who love you back, how does that make you special? For even sinners love those who love them back. If you just do good to those who do good for you, how does that make you special? Sinners do the same thing. And, if you lend money to someone who will pay you back, how does that make you special? Sinners lend money to each other so they will get the money back. So, love your enemies, do good for everyone, and lend freely, but do not expect anything in return. God will give you a great reward. And you will his children. Remember, God is kind to everyone, even those who are ungrateful and evil.
Be kind to everyone, just as God your Father is kind to you. Don't judge others, so God might not judge you. Don't condemn others, so God might not condemn you. Forgive others, so God might forgive you. Give to others freely, and God will do the same for you. What he gives to you will overflow. The way you give is the way you will receive.
The battle between Alison and Katie had started. The next day, Alison and Katie talked to their friends but not to each other. Alison told her friends that Katie was mean and a big bully. Katie to those same friends that Alison was a weak baby. After a few days, the girls's friends were sick of hearing the complaining. "I'm am so tired of their fighting," one girl said. "Yeah, they will yell at us but they won't talk each other," another replied. "I don't want to talk to either of them until they get this straighten out," added a third. They all agreed.
On Saturday, both girls felt alone. Finally, Alison got up enough courage to call Katie. "I'm sorry I got mad at you,"Alison told Katie. "I said some things that weren't very nice about you to our friends. You won the game; you're stronger than I am."
"Alison," Katie answered. "You're stronger than I am. After all, you were the first to call."
When Katie was talking about strength, she was not talking about muscle power. She was talking about the power of love. The power that changes minds and hearts.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies and to pray for them. In other words, we are to treat our enemies like our friends. Why? So we can make our enemies our friends. Everyone is a potential friend.
Imagine if God was our friend. Well, he is our friend and he's everybody's friend. With God's love, we, too, can love others as friends.
Think about your friends and your enemies. How can you get closer to your friends? How can you turn your enemies into friends?