Oil on Canvas Panel
Jesus said, "I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek,
offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them
again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those
who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?
For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive,
what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.
Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind
to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
"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 it will be given to you. A good measure,
pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure
you give will be the measure you get back."
In this Sunday's scripture, Jesus continues to turn the world upside down
with the call to love our enemies. I recently heard "love" defined as
"willing the good for the other." (Fr. Mike Schmitz)
This abstract painting expresses the struggle to live out that calling.
How does the call to love our enemies conflict with our definitions of justice and fairness?
How does this calling translate in abusive situations?
How much of a difference would living this calling make in today's polarized society?
How different would the world be if we actually loved our enemies?