June 16, 2015 2 Cor. 8: 1-9; Matthew 5:43-48
Listen to the words of Jesus in the Gospel today and yesterday … you have heard it said … BUT … I say to you …
B-U-T … a very small word … what does it mean and why is Jesus using it? If we pay attention … the word “but” clues us in to some contrast. Jesus uses it in His teaching to tell us to “step our behavior up a notch”.
Listen again to a line from yesterday’s Gospel … “You have heard it said “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” BUT I say offer no resistance. Here Jesus teaches us to be forgiving, merciful, compassionate and pardoning.
From today’s Gospel … “You have heard it said “love your neighbor and hate your enemy” BUT I say love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Here Jesus teaches us again to be forgiving, merciful, compassionate and pardoning.
These contrasts that Jesus presents to us urges us to a generosity of heart … a profound giving that can be painful and may take a good amount of time. Why should we even consider going that extra mile? Jesus tells us … so that we can be more “God-like” … so that we can be like our heavenly Father who is perfect.
We are called to give much … because God gives us everything. Let us pray for generous hearts … hearts that are willing to give and receive God’s love and compassion.