Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Ignatius of Loyola observes how, within the concreteness of the life that we live, all true blessings and gifts descend from above (“de arriba”) and that the love that ought to move me should also descend from above (SpEx 184, 237). Likewise, Ignatius warns that we never act correctly (i.e. according to the divine life offered to us in Christ) when we are moved by evil (SpEx 318). If we let evil be the basis of our action, even in reaction to it, then we are, to some extent, beholden to the evil against which we are reacting. One who acts in this way can be called a “reactionary.” But God is never a reactionary. Jesus refuses to answer the questions of those who start a discussion on false premises. Rather, God trumps evil not by reacting to it, but by doing something completely new, something that is completely free and utterly incomprehensible to someone limited by the false logic of the evil one.
For this reason, God is not constrained by our evil, but loves with an utterly free and gratuitous love. God “makes his sun rise on the bad and the good” and invites us to love with this same love, “that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” To “love those who love you” is the way of the world, the normal way. But it is not the fullness of life that God offers. We cannot live the fullness of life and love that God offers unless we receive it from him. If we have not received this love, then we find can find it difficult or impossible to love our enemies, because they have, in a sense, taken away our love and left us with no love to give them. On the other hand, if we live from the never-failing springs of God’s love, we know that their hatred cannot diminish the love that we receive from God. On the basis of the love that God offers us—precisely where our enemy has injured us—we can love our enemy all the more and so witness to a love that is not of this world, and yet breaks through into the world through our lives.