Commentary on the Gospel of
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.
Jesus message told by Matthew is very powerful. As I reflect on unconditional acts of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and support of others; I recognize how the give and take for each can be experienced as strong, powerful or fragile and exposed. I know I can be labeled as someone who did not show love, did not forgive, failed to support others when it was important to them. My immediate explanation would be “I did not know, I did not realize, I did not mean it, I did not see”. I imagine others would say the same. So how can these labyrinths of feelings and actions be reconciled?
Reconciliation, staying tuned to others, and keeping my “lens” (mind and heart) on path occurs only if I pause and increase my quiet time with God. In my silence God quiets my misgivings, feelings of inadequacy and tells me I must give thanks for ALL encounters; to recognize that all time with others is precious and when I extend forgiveness it is God’s divine gift.
When I am successful it becomes a ‘game changer’ for me. I am able to deflect the hurts, disappointments, rejections….and recognize something deeper is going on. My heart extends a love and caring that is not ordinary, an understanding that is lasting; and when it is received….it meets no resistance and the love I feel is extended to others. I know we both move to another level of being with each other. A deeper spiritual awareness is acknowledged …. “Thanks be to God”.
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 and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."