Change–few embrace the concept, especially if pain is involved. Today’s Gospel invites readers to a new way of viewing the world: love your enemies? Stop judging? Forgive? Isn’t there an easier way to Heaven?
How do you find enough mercy to do good to those who revile you? Where does one get the courage to offer the other cheek to be struck? Why would I give the cloak off my back to a demanding person? The Golden Rule is part of most of the major religions–do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That one seems the easiest among the other requirements listed today. If we examine the others in that light though, in God’s light, then maybe they all make sense. Wouldn’t we want to be greeted with mercy and compassion when we have wronged someone? Would we be grateful when we have been out of line and someone rises above and takes the higher road without pointing out our fault? Would we not be appreciative of the one who gives us even more than we have dared to ask for?
The reward of doing something unexpected is that we experience a profound moment of grace ourselves. We will receive more than what we have desired. If we give with a free and loving heart, we are blessed abundantly. Our reward is that we will be called children of God. When we embrace change, we can be transformed into what God is calling us to. A caterpillar is a creature of the earth. A butterfly soars high. You can stay on the ground or you can fly high as a thing of beauty. What prevents you from changing?