The Good News for the Day, June 19, 2017
Monday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time (365)
Jesus says to His followers: “You have always been told: Thou shalt love thy neighbor, but hate thine enemy. I am telling you, though, to love people who don’t care for you, and be prayerful–mindful–for those who treat you badly. This way, you will show yourselfves children of the Father in the Realms of what is Right. He shines sun on good and bad people–lets rain fall on righteous people as well as those not so righteous. And–if you love just the folks friendly to you–what value is there in that? Don’t rich people do that? If you acknowledge as friends only people friendly to you, what is anything extra there? Don’t others who aren’t my followers do that? In short, act as far-ranging yourselves as your Father in the Realm of Right.” (Matthew 5)
This picture of the sun a-shining for good and bad, rains a-falling for just and unjust–offers you and me a picture that can mean a lot. Being friends only with your friends is another significant picture. Jesus suggests you think more inclusive, more forgiving, more sympathetic.
Be friendly with strangers and enemies, Jesus says–to distinguish you from “rich people” (“taxcollectors”) and from “others not my followers” (“ethnoi”/”pagans”) who act that way for their own reasons. As for you, show for everyone to see that you are part of the family of God–seeing everyone as equal children of One Father.
Here is one of those daily things, to make a habit of. If you see in everybody, fellow children of God, equal members in that Family, you will have no real enemies. Even if they disdain you, and “troll” you and seem altogether mean towards you–that is no reason to forget they are family. If your oulook is sympathetic, you see someone struggling like you with values and prejudices, habits and convictions, anger and forgiveness. See the struggle, appreciate the humanity, and love them.