The first reading is an indication of God’s mercy as Saul’s life was spared. When David saw Saul asleep along with his men, his partner Abishai told him to kill Saul with Saul’s spear beside him. However, his obedience to God overwhelmed his desire to kill him proclaiming that he would not raise his hand on God’s anointed. David took Saul’s spear and jug of water and went to the top of the hill. He did not harm Saul but He shouted to Saul’s men across the other side to come over to claim Saul’s spear. In the reading, David was tempted by Abishai to kill his enemy. How often do we wish the worst for those who have hurt us? Due to our human faults and emotions, we want others to feel the pain that they have caused us. It is the grace of God which protect us from the poison of hatred and revenge that destroys our minds and souls.
In the second reading, Paul talks about how we have been raised from the dead and resurrected in the image of Christ. During our lives in this world, we are like “Adam, the first human being.” The first Adam, was created in the image and likeness of God and had His very life-breathed into him. However, due to Adam’s sin, he has enslaved the hearts of all mankind. Jesus Christ became the second man – the heavenly man who is “the last Adam”, and He was sent from above by God to exercise redemption over what the first man had lost, due to his sin. This second man and last Adam was God incarnate – and the life of God was within Him for He Himself was God. He represents life and light and had come to overcome sin and death for whoever believes in His name. The important takeaway is that Christ resurrected us from the dead and shattered the power of death for us as well.
Finally, the Gospel reveals to us one of the many astonishing things that Christ taught his disciples was to love their enemies and to do good to those that hated them. Jesus called them to bless those who cursed them and to pray for those who spitefully used them. He taught that they should not return evil for evil but should exhibit godly grace and divine love. He was explaining what it means to be truly compassionate towards others. He elaborated that showing love and care to people who spite or hurt you are following the will of God. This divine love reflects the beautiful characteristics of our heavenly Father. By doing so, men might see their good deeds and glorify his holy name.
Godly love is a divine characteristic that is beyond the nature the understanding of man. Loving our enemies and doing good to those that are unkind to us can never be achieved in our own strength or self-effort. It requires the grace of God to do so.
Redemption through forgiveness and mercy is the overarching theme for this week. It is God’s love and redemption that has saved us from our sins. God had sent Jesus as the “last Adam” to teach us to love our enemies and people who spite us to receive the graces of God’s redemption through the act of forgiveness. This act of forgiveness and love can only work with the graces of God.