< <  

Sunday, February 22, 1998

  > >

7th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Psalm 103
Luke 6:27-38

View Readings
Similar Reflections

nailing down mercy

"Abishai whispered to David: 'God has delivered your enemy into your grasp this day. Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear.' " —1 Samuel 26:8

Abishai gave David the traditional "wisdom of war," that is: "Kill, nail, and spear the enemies before they do it to you first." In other words, "do unto others before they do unto you." David surprisingly rejected Abishai's standard advice (1 Sm 26:9). In this, he prefigured Jesus, the Son of David

Jesus didn't just talk about having mercy on our enemies. He paid the price for mercy by taking on Himself the just punishments which His enemies deserved. Instead of nailing His enemies to the ground (see 1 Sm 26:8), He let His enemies nail Him to the cross. Instead of thrusting a spear into His enemies, He let them thrust a spear into His side (see Jn 19:34). Jesus knows that treating guilty enemies with mercy would be unjust. So He fulfilled justice out of love for His enemies by paying the price for mercy on Calvary.

Therefore, "love your enemy and do good" (Lk 6:35). "Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you shall be pardoned" (Lk 6:36-37).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I receive and give Your crucified, precious mercy.

Promise:  "Give, and it shall be given to you." —Lk 6:38

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25). "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997