Memory of the Church

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Memorial of the terrorist attacks in the United States. Memorial of the victims of terrorism and violence and prayer for peace

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6, 27-38

'But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.

Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it.

Treat others as you would like people to treat you.

If you love those who love you, what credit can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit can you expect? For even sinners do that much.

And if you lend to those from whom you hope to get money back, what credit can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.

Instead, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel passage today shows us the second part of Jesus’ sermon, which in Luke’s Gospel he gives from the plain, and not from the mountain, as Matthew’s Gospel reports. If Jesus was speaking directly to his disciples in the first part of his sermon, in the second part, he now addresses everyone, “to you who hear”, to the multitude of the poor and sick who came from all parts (Lk 6:17-19). The Gospel excludes no one from the path of salvation and happiness, which Jesus shows us. And to all, Jesus proposes a high, demanding ideal that seems to some to be unrealistic. Beyond a doubt, Jesus encourages us to love in a way that is not calculating and that even goes beyond reason. Jesus begins to say things that had never been said before: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”. This command is truly foreign to the world’s way of thinking, and for this, it is often mocked. One could say that these words are nice, but wholly impractical. Yet, only in these words can the world find salvation. Only from this perspective can we find the way to stop war and the motivation to build up peaceful coexistence between peoples and nations. For Jesus, there are no more enemies to hate and fight. For him—and for every disciple—there are only brothers and sisters to love, at most to correct, and in any way, always to help along the path of salvation. The underlying reason for Jesus’ words is found in the very example of God, who primarily is merciful and gracious with all, even with the “ungrateful and wicked.” The ideal that Jesus presents to those who listen is as high as heaven, which is why he says: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” This is not a moral command; it is a lifestyle. Our salvation depends upon it. Jesus then adds what we call the “golden rule”: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (v.31). This “rule” is present in all religions, like a golden thread that deeply binds together all peoples and nations. The more aware we are of this rule the more peaceful and beautiful are most of our relationships. Abiding by this rule breaks up at the root the poison of egoism that leads to conflict. This choice involves the conversion of our heart and also of our behaviour and life. From new hearts flows a new life for everyone. This is why Jesus urges us “not to judge” and “condemn”, but to forgive and to give with “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together.” Who behaves so, in turn receives the same measure.