Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help, and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:42
To this day, the tit-for-tat law, 'lex talionis', is seen as a sensible custom across many cultures, but Jesus raises us beyond it. Nowhere is he more radical than here: challenging us to accept attacks and insults without resentment, and to respond with love. We may well ponder, can I rise to the challenge?
God’s love is unconditional. It extends to enemies. That challenges neat categories and personal preferences that can hold so much sway in life. It is only with his heart that we can love in a way that is humanly impossible.
Holiness means imitating God and trying to be as generous as we can. We are to act as God does in loving all, just or unjust, good or bad. His mercy and graciousness is radical, disproportionate, and outrageous. Is mine perhaps a little more cautious?
O God, send your Spirit upon us and light our path,
that we may travel the road you have prepared for us.
Having heard your scriptures proclaimed, and your word revealed, enable our hearts and minds to more fully understand your goodness and your grace.
Help us break free from ideas that no longer bring life, that we may embrace the life-giving work of your Spirit.
Challenge us to forsake paths that ask little of us, and help us resist the evils and temptations of this world, that we may truly follow the way of kingdom living. Amen.