Før Angelus-bønnen i går (på Petersplassen hver søndag kl 12) snakket pave Benedikt om søndagens tekst, der Jesus ber oss om å elske våre fiender. Han sa at dette var “one of the most typical and strongest excerpts of the preaching of Jesus. ‘Love your enemies’ (Lk 6:27).” Then he asked: “But what is the meaning of these words of his? Why does Jesus ask us to love our enemies, that is, a love that surpasses human capacity? In reality, the suggestion of Christ is realistic because it takes into account that there is too much violence, too much injustice in the world and therefore the situation cannot be overcome unless it is countered by more love and more goodness. This ‘more’ comes from God: it is his mercy, which became flesh in Jesus and alone can ‘turn the balance’ of the world away from evil towards good, starting from that small and decisive ‘world’ that is the heart of man.
This gospel page is rightly considered to be the magna carta of Christian nonviolence, which consists not of giving in to evil – according to a false interpretation of ‘turning the other cheek’ (cfr Lk 6:29) – but in responding to evil with good (cfr Rm 12: 17-21), thus breaking the chains of injustice. Then it is understood that for Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behaviour but rather a personal way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of the love and strength of God that he is not afraid to face evil armed with just the weapons of love and truth. Loving one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution’, a revolution based not on strategies of economic, political or mediating power. The revolution of love, a love that ultimately does not depend on human resources but is a gift of God that is obtained by trusting uniquely and without reservations in his merciful goodness. This is the news of the Gospel, which changes the world without making any noise about it. This is the heroism of the ‘little ones’ who believe in the love of God and spread it even at the cost of their life”.