Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5,38-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
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.
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 only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Telos. Temples. Tea leaves
- Telos. Aristotle once said to always begin with the telos- that is the end in mind -we should always have the goal in mind before you start anything. I can’t think of a better way to begin lent this year than reflecting on the goal of lent that Jesus ends the gospel with. Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. The definition of perfection according to Saint Thomas Aquinas does not mean never making a mistake but rather fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. We were created to love like God. While some of us may think it is unrealistic or unattainable, God never commands us to do anything he does not first give us the grace to accomplish.
- Temple. Saint Paul reminds us that we are temples of God and therefore are called to be sacred space filled with the source of true life – his love- a love that can transform anything even our enemies into friends. We are called to be living tabernacles filled with God’s Holy Spirit. In this way our work is one of subtraction rather than addition -meaning we are called to let go of and get rid of our pride, anger selfishness and self-sufficiency.
Instead of adding rosaries and devotions perhaps this lent we can choose to strip ourselves of anything that is not of God. A sculpture made an exquisite sculpture of an angel that everybody admired. When asked how he did it he said it was very simple-I just chipped away everything that was not an angel.
- Tea leaves. We have forgotten our true nature how God became human so that humans can become a God.
Theres a story about an old man who was trying to save a scorpion who was floating on a tea leaf down a river. Every time he tried to save him however the scorpion tried to sting him. Another man watched called out to him and said you fool why are you trying to save him he will kill you. The old man replied it is his nature to sting but it is my nature to save. Let us be reminded of the great dignity that we are called to in loving like God which we may think it’s not natural and in fact is not it is rather supernatural and embrace what Saint Catherine of Siena said that if we embrace who God meant us to be then we would set the world on fire.
May God bless you in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Always remember having is our goal