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Mindonjesus.com
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Is your mind on Jesus?
Is your mind on Jesus?

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Luke 6:36-38
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus calls us to "be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Mercy or tender compassion (chesed in the Hebrew of the Old Testament) is God’s most distinctive characteristic. St. Augustine reminded us that we are, by our very nature, ordered to God. But since God is tender mercy, "having" God is tantamount to exercising compassion, being merciful ourselves.

And attend to what Jesus says next: "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you." According to the "physics" of the spiritual order, the more one draws on the divine life, the more one receives that life, precisely because it is a gift and is properly infinite. God’s life is had, as it were, on the fly: when you receive it as a gift, you must give it away, since it only exists in gift form, and then you will find more of it flooding into your heart.

If you want to be happy, Jesus is saying, this divine love, this chesed of God, must be central to your life; it must be your beginning, your middle, and your end.
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Mark 9:2-10
Friends, today’s Gospel presents the Transfiguration of Christ. What is the Transfiguration itself? Mark speaks literally of a metamorphosis, of going beyond the form that he had. If I can use Paul’s language, it is “the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.” In and through his humble humanity, his divinity shines forth. The proximity of his divinity in no way compromises the integrity of his humanity, but rather makes it shine in greater beauty. This is the New Testament version of the burning bush.

The Jesus who is both divine and human is the Jesus who is evangelically compelling. If he is only divine, then he doesn’t touch us; if he is only human, then he can’t save us. His splendor consists in the coming together of the two natures, without mixing, mingling, or confusion.

This same Jesus then accompanies his disciples back down the mountain and walks with them in the ordinary rhythms of their lives. This is the Christ who wants to reign as Lord of our lives in every detail. If we forget about this dimension, then Jesus becomes a distant memory, a figure from the past.
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Matthew 5:43-48

Love for Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Friends, once again our Gospel today is taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. It is one of the most puzzling texts in the New Testament. It speaks of loving our enemies. Not tolerating them, or vaguely accepting them, but loving them. When you hate your enemy, you confirm him as your enemy. But when you love him in response to his hatred, you confuse and confound him, taking away the very energy that feeds his hatred.

There is a form of oriental martial arts called aikido. The idea of aikido is to absorb the aggressive energy of your opponent, moving with it, continually frustrating him until he comes to the point of realizing that fighting is useless.

Some have pointed out that there is a great deal of this in Jesus’ strategy of nonviolence and love of the enemy. You creatively absorb the aggression of your opponent, channelling it back against him, to show him the futility of violence. So when someone insults you, send back a compliment instead of an insult. When someone conspires against you, work to help him.
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