Today’s readings invite and challenge us to live generous, kind-hearted lives of compassion, mercy and love.

In the First Reading, David, the future king of Israel, shows great magnanimity in sparing the life of his persecutor Saul. The dramatic incident in the camp highlights David’s ingenuity and his sense of honour, and indicates that Saul’s days as king of Israel are numbered.

These events prepare us for today’s challenging Gospel, where we hear Jesus urging us to show forgiveness even to our enemies, and to be ‘compassionate as your Father is compassionate’. However, the last verses make it clear that the demands of the kingdom can only be understood in the light of our relationship with God.

St Paul teaches that though there is much of the ‘earthly Adam’ in all of us, our desire and yearning must be to live and love as did Jesus Christ – the ‘heavenly Adam’ (Second Reading).

The Psalm is a song of praise and gratitude for the Lord’s own compassion and love.

Given our ‘earthbound’ nature, we are all too aware that we cannot live out the teachings of Jesus without help! This week, I may like to pray for the grace to be open both to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and also to the life of the risen Lord working in, with and through me. We pray, too, that our sisters and brothers everywhere may be open to God’s compassion and love.