Forgiveness and Love
The overarching themes in the readings for this week are relationships and forgiveness. In Genesis we see the relationship breakdown in families. You might think there's nothing new there, over 2,000 years on. On the one hand you have the brothers a bit disheartened that Joseph is alive, as they will have to ‘fess up' to what they actually did, and on the other hand we see Joseph offering forgiveness and acceptance of the wrong done and the hurt caused to him.
In the gospel reading from Luke, Jesus talks too about the importance of loving our enemies. He calls for attitudes and actions that seek the good of the other, which builds up the community. “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return." How can we love our enemies though when everything we feel inside us about them makes us want to hurt them back as they have hurt us?
Jesus is not telling people to remain victims but to find new ways of dealing with those who hurt us. He is inviting all of us into forgiveness, into a deep, unlimited and radical kind of forgiveness that we can fully appreciate only when we have been on the receiving end of it.