The E-catechism: October 2001

  Open Bible
  A reading about "Love your enemies"
  A reading about the "superabundance" 





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Open Bible 
la bilbe 

Some groups are appropriately updating and renovating the evangelical texts!

A group from the Gard region tell us about their reading of Mt 5, 38-48
and Le 6, 27-35.

A reading about "Love your enemies"  non-violence 

What is most striking in this part is the invention by Jesus of the active non-violence. Before that, non-violence already existed in India, from the Jainism, but it was, if I am right, a kind of poetic mysticism.

With Jesus it is a concrete action: how to behave in the heart of a conflict?

Before him, two possible actions were generally known (and still today for some people) when you are facing an aggressor or and oppressor:
- Either react with violence (strike back and even stronger)
- Or to surrender or to flee.

Jesus on the contrary recommends to face the situation and to begin a dialogue, a way almost provocative but motivated by love in the hope to reach the conscience of the other, even if it is more painful: it is a courageous attitude. The concept of the enemy collapses itself because the other is considered as a person; the evil is overcome by the good, because each person is freed from fear and from his own aggressiveness by the beginning of a dialogue.

All the non-violence actions in our modern times in fact copy that method with many imaginative variations: Gandhi, Martin-Luther King, the peasants from Larzac, the Czechs in 1968….  MGandhi et MLKing

When Gandhi was a young student in London, he was taken by an extraordinary jubilation in discovering the Gospel….


A reading about the "superabundance"

The theme of the superabundance of love can be read between the lines of these two passages of the Gospel. If one takes out your clothe, give him also your coat, if you are asked to walk a thousand of steps, do one thousand more, if one smites you on one cheek, turn to him the other, if you are robbed, don't complain, love those who don't love you, love your enemies.

écouter, parler...  What is up? To give one's goods, to give one's time, listen, speak, give even more, even and more so to those who rob you, hate you, those who are your enemies or only bother you. 

Chouraqui translates Mt 5, 47 as: "If you greet only your brothers, what do you do of superabundant?

Like God who gives an excess of grace, ability and charisma, like God who gives back one hundred times more than you gave to others, we are asked to give freely, not expecting a return, still keeping confidence in the persons. It is because we don't require a return from our superabundance that we then receive some thing in superabundance. Make your love more concrete; God will manage to make it even more concrete. Give material things, God will transform them in spiritual gifts.

In Les Miserables of Victor Hugo, when Jean Valjan, formerly a convict, is arrested by the police suspected to have stolen some silver cutlery belonging to the bishop of Digne (a theft he had really committed) Mgr Myriel, rather than to accuse him, cleared him of it by saying that he gave them to him and more so he gives to him two more silver chandeliers. There is here superabundance of forgiveness and no condemnation. Through this gift, the formerly convict becomes a free man, free to behave without being any more a thief.