First Reading: 1Kgs 21:17-29; Psalm: 51. R. v. 3a; Gospel: Mt 5:43-48
LOVING LIKE GOD OUR FATHER
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The scale has suddenly fallen off the eyes of King Ahab. See how he humbled himself when God brought his sins before his face. His evil actions were born out of the incitement of Jezebel his wife. He was a weak and indecisive king. Although what he did provoked God and deserved punishment but God’s mercy would always overshadow our weaknesses when we humble ourselves and repent. Jesus highlighted this quality of God in the gospel when he spoke of his Father’s perfect unconditional love. Once we return to God in true remorse, all our sins are cast away.
Jesus is making a clarion call today inviting us to imitate our Father in heaven who is perfect and loves unconditionally. A thing is perfect if it fulfils the purpose for which it was made. If for instance a spanner fits into a bolt, the spanner becomes a perfect tool to fasten the bolt. So we become perfect like our heavenly Father when we achieve the aim for which we were created. And since we were created in God’s image and likeness, then the aim for which we were created was to be like God. And to be like God is to love unconditionally like God.
Ordinarily, our verdict would be that King Ahab be punished for being an accomplice in the death of Naboth or even face capital punishment as initially meted out by God. But God has made known to us that his mercy is boundless to the repentant sinner. Similarly, we should just like God try to forgive those who may have hurt us so badly. Unless we have never hurt someone before. Retaliation will not stop evil. When we are revengeful, we become a judge to others. We need to trust in God’s grace and judgment. Learning to forgive those who wrong us makes us truly sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to strive towards perfection in forgiving and loving one another. Amen.