For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? - Matthew 5I've written about this before; when today's Gospel passage comes up, I find myself challenged. It seems reasonable, does it not, to love one's friends and hate one's enemies? Sounds pretty much like the natural order of things to me. Why then, does Jesus ask this of me? It feels so much easier to be reasonable in this instance.
What's He saying to us in the above passage; that indeed it is easy to love those who also love us. Love is already there; there are no obstacles to it. Everyone, good and evil, can love those who love them in return.
"BIIIIIIIG deal!", I imagine Jesus saying.
What of the people we find irritating? Annoying? Downright reprehensible? The reasonable human response is to back away, gossip about, condemn such people, and perhaps worse. Jesus asks us to demonstrate His love by loving them as well.
This is a hard teaching for me. However, it reminds me that Jesus dwells in each and every person whether they know it or not, whether they like it or not, whether we always see it or not. We are to recognize that indwelling and inherent Love.
God, help me to help others see Your face, through my actions and reactions.
Daily Mass Readings
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
1 Corinthians 3:16-23