In today’s Gospel and in the previous readings, Jesus teaches us what living under God’s rule is like. The afflicted are blessed. Enemies are loved. Elsewhere, he also teaches us that leaders who serve and the least are first.
Does Jesus teach us something unnatural? It is not easy to love those who harm us or those who persecute us. Jesus simply knows the transforming power of goodness and love. He knows that by dealing with a hating person in a positive and loving way, we disarm him/her. Returning good for the evil done to us is to refuse to be influenced by that person’s negative attitude.
No, Jesus does not invite us to something impossible or unnatural but to something revolutionary. Being his follower involves a paradigm shift, a new perspective, a new way of thinking and acting. He invites us to try a new path which is, paradoxically, the original way of being human. When we follow the ways of Jesus, we follow the path to true humanity — the path that makes us perfect like our heavenly Father.
GOSPEL • MATTHEW 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.