“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.Retaliation
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
“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, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."—St. Matthew 5:21-48
We must give until it hurts. For love to be true it has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us; it hurt God to love us because He had to give. He gave His Son. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.—Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
Jesus understands that we need His grace and His peace, His love and mercy so that we can extend that love and mercy to others. If we ask, He will give us the grace we need. None of us deserve God's mercy. Yet, God offers Himself freely to all. Of course, not all accept God's invitation to eternal salvation and peace in and through Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, we must love those who reject Christ until they themselves arrive at the judgement throne of God and who will then know the truth. God delays His return so that as many souls that can be saved will be saved.
After Jesus proclaims the Beatitudes (St. Matthew Chapter 5), He calls his audience to their true dignity.
“You are the salt of the earth (Melach); but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.There is a play on words here.
- Melech= King
- Malach= Servant serving the King; Angel, Messenger
- Melach= Salts, minerals (i.e., Melach HaEretz; salt of the earth)
- Malech= Work; creative force, to make, or create, repair.
If we allow ourselves to be found by Christ, we can submit to His right judgement which allows us to see ourselves as we truly are. Jesus is the perfect mirror in which man, illumined by the Holy Spirit, can see himself created in the image of God. Prior to Christ's redemption, each person stands looking into a mirror that reflects his fallen nature. In a sense, each person sees himself staring back at him. Baptized, the mirror is polished clean. Our vision, still lacking clarity, requires the practice of daily prayer to dispose us to God's transforming love.
thank You for the gift of Your Son Whose Presence now dwells within me.
Pour out upon me Your Holy Spirit, I humbly beseech You,
that I may offer Jesus my complete surrender.
I cast aside every obstacle, every egotistical concern,
every barrier to His love and peace
in the hope of being made perfect in Him,
so that through Him and with Him and in Him
I may one day, in the company of the saints,
look upon You and adore You.
Father, look upon me, your child,
and see only Your Son dwelling within me.
Help me to decrease so that Jesus may increase.
In Jesus' name. Amen.