EWTN Catholic Q&A
Luke 6:27-36
Question from bp on 12-04-2012:

Fr. Echert, please,

How is this possible? Or does this mean something different than what it literally says?

Thank you for your time.


Answer by Fr. John Echert on 12-04-2012:

27 But I say to you that hear: *Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that calumniate you.

29 And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the other. And him that taketh away from thee thy cloak, hinder not to take thy coat also.

30 Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

31 And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them, in like manner.

32 And if you love them that love you, what thanks have you? for sinners also love those that love them.

33 And if you do good to them that do good to you; what thanks have you? for sinners also do this.

34 *And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much.

35 But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Most High: for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye, therefore, merciful, as your father also is merciful.

Were it not for the example of God Himself, who suffered the outrages of the Passion and Crucifixion, we might argue that God asks too much of us in this matter. But if God can suffer at the hands of his enemies, how much more can we. This text does not preclude all forms of self defense to preserve ones life but especially with regard to fellow Christians, charity often trumps strict justice. The more we exercise charity, the more we are like Christ and deserving of merit, sometimes applied in the life to come

Father Echert