If we love our enemies, do good deeds and lend things to others, without demanding anything in return, then we become like the Merciful God said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on October 17, 2021, on 17th Sunday after Pentecost, reports the Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Speaking on the reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke 6: 31-36, the Primate of the UOC drew attention to the commandment, which teaches us to build relationships with people correctly: “As you want people to do to you, so do you do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).
“If we do not know what to do with our neighbor – whether in disputes or troubles – we need to put ourselves in their place, and vise versa. When I realize what I would like this person to do to me, I should do the same to him or her,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The archpastor noted that in doing good to those who love us or to those who are kind to us, “we just look like a kind, honest person.” “But if we love our enemies, if we do good and lend things without expecting to receive anything back, then we become like the Merciful God. Because God is merciful to both the ungrateful and the wicked – this is the rule of life,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
He noted, “we must be like God,” because man was created in His image and likeness.
“Every person has an image, whether he or she wants it or not, but only those who want to be alike [God] can be that,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The metropolitan added that a person begins to become like God, when he or she shows love for enemies, for “sacrificial good deeds,” without expecting anything in return.
“It is good to be like an honest person, but it is much better and nobler to be like the merciful God, who loves both the bad and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. <…> Those people who become like God are able to accept the great gifts of God that are necessary for people not only in their earthly life, but also in their future life – in Heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.