To you that hear

What kind of Good News is this? “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” (Lk 6:27-38). Jesus’s words sound almost cruel and inhuman, because Jesus is not talking about patiently bearing with an annoying colleague, nor about forgiving someone who has done terrible things to us but later repented.  Jesus is talking about being merciful while enduring abuse and the abuser shows no repentance. An unthinkable situation.

Times have changed

The Papal Encyclicals have changed a lot in recent centuries. They usually occupied one page; today they have a hundred or more pages. Previously, they often addressed specific international issues; today they deal mostly with our relationship with God or with the demands of Christian life. Fundamentally, the language of the Encyclicals have changed radically!