Father Patrick Butler, LC
Luke 6: 27-38
said to his disciples: "To you who hear I
say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate
you, bless those who curse you, pray for those
who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you
on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and
from the person who takes your cloak, do not
withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of
you, and from the one who takes what is
yours do not demand it back. Do to others as
you would have them do to you. For if
you love those who love you, what credit is
that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do
good to you, what credit is that to you? Even
sinners do the same. If you lend money to
those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that
to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get
back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies
and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great and you will
be children of the Most High, for he himself
is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful,
just as (also) your Father is merciful. "Stop judging
and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and
you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be
forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap. For the measure with
which you measure will in return be measured out
Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for
the gift of creation, including my own life. God
the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the
price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy
Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of
my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and
kindling the fire of your love in my heart.
Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to actively seek the
perfection you desire for me.
1. Revolution or Civil War?
The values that Jesus proposes in his sermon on
the mountain might be termed “revolutionary.” Never had the
ideal of love been placed so high, demanding such heroism
in practice. That’s why what Jesus asks provokes a
struggle within me, between the “old man,” who resists
this message, and the ideals my Lord places before me.
This might be termed a “civil war” played out
on the battlefield of my heart.
2. The Golden Rule: Jesus
gives me what has been termed the “Golden Rule”:
do to others as you would have them do to
you. Since I naturally love myself to the point
of desiring all good things and nothing bad to
come my way, Jesus exhorts me to transfer that benevolence
to others. This requires an effort for me, since
I tend towards egoism. What can lift me up
out of my smallness, my narrowness?
3. Becoming like God: God’s
plan for me is marvelous. It exceeds my comprehension
to hear Jesus tell me to be perfect, not
according to a standard of human perfection, but according to
divine perfection. My vocation is to become like God
– for his divine life to increase in me
and for my narrow, egoistic standards to diminish and disappear.
I would not strive for such a high goal,
if it were not commanded by my Lord. I must
trust that he can do it in me. What
I have to do is to collaborate with him,
seeking him in prayer and discerning his will for me
Conversation with Christ: I thank you,
Lord Jesus, for wanting to transform me into a
greater likeness of God. Without you, this is impossible.
With you, everything is possible, even in me with all
my weaknesses and limitations. Your will be done!
Resolution: I will transform my way of judging
from my point of view to God’s. Today I will
strive to put into practice the “Golden Rule”.