READINGS: 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9,12-13,22-23/ 1 Corinthians 15:45-49/ Luke 6:27-38
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

David, according to today’s first reading, spared the life of King Saul who was pursuing him (cf. 1 Sam. 26: 2, 7-9). Then, in the gospel reading, our Lord Jesus Christ enjoins us to love our enemies (cf. Luke 6:27-38). Loving one’s enemies is, indeed, a very high standard of spirituality, since even loving good people as oneself is demanding. Let us reflect on why and how we should love our enemies.


There are several reasons why we should love our enemies. Let us consider five of these reasons. First and foremost, we should love our enemies, because God loved us while we were His enemies. Thus, St. Paul explains: “Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die.But God proves His love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. … while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,” (Rom. 5:7-10). In other words, as we enjoy God’s mercy, we should be merciful to others, including our enemies (cf. Luke 6:36).

Secondly, David did not dare to kill King Saul, because he appreciated the fact that his enemy was an anointed of God (cf. 1 Sam. 26:9). Though all human beings may not be anointed servants of God, all have been created in His image and likeness. All humans are, therefore, children of God. So, the person we may consider as our enemy is God’s child. God, therefore, enjoins us to love him/her (cf. Luke 6:27).

Thirdly, Jesus teaches: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Therefore, as we would wish that our enemies were compassionate to us if we were at their mercy, so we should love them.

Fourthly, David realized that the advantage he had over King Saul who was asleep was not due his intelligence or strength.  He knew it was by God’s grace. That is, David believed that it was God who had made Saul and his troop fall into deep sleep (cf. 1 Sam. 26:12), and therefore vulnerable. So, he did not kill Saul (cf. 1 Sam. 26:23). Likewise, we would not hurt our enemies if we believe that our advantage is a moment of grace given by God to do good and not to harm. 

Fifthly, after David had spared the life of Saul, he shouted out from a distant: “Here is the spear, O king! … The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness” (1 Sam. 26:22-23).  That is, David dealt mercifully with Saul, because he believed that ultimately God will judge him and all humans. God’s judgment, according to Jesus, will be based on how we deal with others: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. … for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:37-38). Therefore, let us deal mercifully with our enemies.


There are several ways to express love to our enemies. Let us consider four of them. Firstly, as David demonstrated, and in accordance with the teaching of Jesus, one way of loving our enemies is to forgive them (cf. Luke 6:37). Truly, it is difficult to forgive an enemy. However, the story of Mrs. Mary Johnson of Minneapolis teaches us that it is not impossible to forgive our enemies. In 1993, her only child, Laramiun Byrd, 20, was shot dead by a teenager, Oshea Israel. In the year (2010) Oshea was to be released from prison, Mrs. Johnson visited him a few times and eventually forgave him. Then, when he was released, she invited him to live next door, sharing the same porch. Subsequently, they visit churches and prisons to talk about Jesus and forgiveness.

Secondly, we can love our enemies by doing good, instead of harm, to them. Doing good includes being charitable to them (cf. Luke 6:27, 30, 35). Thirdly, we can love our enemies by blessing, instead of cursing, them (cf. Luke 6:28). Fourthly, we can love our enemies by praying for them (cf. Luke 6:28).


Beloved, God loved us while we were His enemies. Let us, therefore, aspire to the higher spirituality of loving our enemies by forgiving, doing good to, blessing and praying for them. Amen!

By Very Rev. Fr. John K. Louis

Bishop John Kobina Louis

Most Rev. John Kobina Louis is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Most Rev. John Kobina Louis, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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