~ ANDREW YEUNG 楊必安
Love God by loving one's neighbour and one's enemy. Be forgiving and compassionate.
因為你們若寬免別人的過犯，你們的天父也必寬免你們的；但你們若不寬免別人的，你們的父也必不寬免你們的過犯。」﹝瑪6 : 9-15﹞
Prayer: Lord! Please help us to be humble, to take away our pride. Amen.
We have just seen that love of Jesus involves carrying out what he commands. We invite you, dear reader, to spend some quality time familiarizing yourself with his teachings. But do not do this merely for the sake of discussion or commentary. We beg you to take Jesus' gospel to heart and live it!
Let us begin with two suggestions. First, when meditating on the gospel readings provided, be sure to apply them to yourself, not to anybody else. Do not use them to judge others.
Second, apply the readings in a positive way. If you find that Jesus' teachings challenge your lifestyle, do not give in to thoughts like: "The gospel may be fine for some people, but don't bother me with it. I am busy with more important matters. Religion should not interfere with my private affairs anyway." Or, "Lots of men and women never read the Bible; they don't even go to church. Why should I have to do more?" Or, "I admit that I'm not a perfect Christian. But it's so annoying to change. If adjustments had been introduced earlier in my youth it might have made a difference. It is too late now; I'll simply carry on as before."
Think along these lines instead: "I will open my heart to Jesus. He knows it takes most people repeated prodding over the years before they learn what he wants them to learn. But he has allowed for that. He does not condemn me for the lost chances. He will help me. His way will make me a much better individual. By becoming better, I will benefit myself and all those around me. Even if these are my last days on earth, it is not useless to start. The good that comes from my transformation will, at the very least, be an enormous influence on my loved ones."
The following is a rough example of how to use the gospel passages. Reading Two opens with the command: "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." Call to mind an enemy. If you do not have one, think of a person you dislike or do not get along with, or against whom you bear a grudge or feel resentment. If there are several, begin by picking a comparably less troublesome one. He or she is probably somebody in your home or at your place of work. (See An Exercise.)
"Love your enemies." Decide to love this person from now on. Do not just promise to do it, but actually act lovingly towards him. "Do good to those who hate you." Plan right away a good deed you will do for him. "Bless those who curse you." From this day forward say only what is good about this person. Stop gossiping about him. Look for admirable qualities in him. Make it a point to talk nicely to him, perhaps with genuine compliments and words of encouragement. Do not be unkind again. "Pray for those who abuse you." Stop reading for a moment. Pray for this person immediately. Ask God to bestow his choicest graces upon him.
"To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also." People may not go about physically slapping each other across the face, but they often do so with stinging remarks. If this person insults you, do not insult him back. If he goes further by getting angry at you, let him! "And from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well."
"Give to everyone who begs from you." Should this person request something legitimate, do not spite him by outright refusal. Give him what he asks. Even if you are not able to comply, at least pass on information as to how he might find it elsewhere.
"And of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again." Should he misappropriate what belongs to you and not return it, be quietly gracious.
If you have been insistent that any reconciliation among you must come from his side, perhaps you can initiate the first move yourself. "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And 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, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great." It is in loving this person who has no love for you, in doing good to him who may not return the favour, in lending to him who may never reimburse you - it is in living this way that you will be extraordinarily compensated. Your generosity may eventually smooth out the hostilities between the two of you; you may gain an excellent friend; you may win a new disciple for Christ; your own soul will be made cleaner; and you will show yourself to be a child of God.
"And you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish." This person with whom you seek to make peace is often ungrateful, and selfish as well. God is kind to him and forgives him. Will you also be kind to him? Will you also forgive him?
"This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Mt 6:9-15, NIV).
Listen to Jesus now. Take as long as you wish to meditate on the following readings.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
1. Mt 22:37-40. 2. Jn 14:21. 3. Mt 25:31-40. 4. Jn 15:11-12. 5. Jn 13:35. (NIV)
But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And 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, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
Give, and it will be given to you; 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.
1. Lk 6:27¬-35. 2. Lk 6:38. (RSV)
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, "Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full." Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, "Pay back what you owe." Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, "Be patient with me, and I will pay you back." But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, "You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?" Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.
1. Mt 18:23-35. (NAB)
So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.
If your brother does something wrong, rebuke him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, "I am sorry," you must forgive him.
It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice.
Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
1. Mt 7:12. 2. Lk 17:3-4. 3. Mt 9:12-13. 4. Lk 6:36. (NJB)
Andrew Yeung. "Do Jesus Want To Do, Chapter One." (April 10, 2013).
Reprinted with permission from Andrew Yeung. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Jerome Yeung, the writer of this compilation, travelled to Medjugorje numerous times. He is one of those for whom this hamlet became a second home. Staying there for several weeks on some occasions, he witnessed and personally experienced the intense response to Our Lady's call in the surroundings in which they were given. He learned to speak a little Croatian, and made many friends among the parishioners, the visionaries and the pilgrims.
The six books he wrote, plus a seventh available only on www.medjugorjeca.org, are all influenced by the Queen of Peace in one form or another. In fact, the only reason he came originally to the shrine in 1984 was to ask the Mother of God for counsel and direction on his first one: DO WHATEVER JESUS TELLS YOU! which eventually took him a total of forty two years to complete. The sayings quoted in it are exclusively those attributed to Jesus by the Evangelists in the Four Gospels. The Catholic Church in China published the translation in two formats, simplified Chinese and Chinese/English. The latter is for university students enrolled in English language classes. It is a powerful instrument in helping to crush the serpent's head. Andrew lives in Toronto, Canada.
Copyright © 2013 Andrew Yeung