Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
By the mere age of 10, I already had a nemesis. Both equally determined to be the leader of every group, we were natural competitors. Yet, though a certain degree of competition can be good, over the years our rivalry painfully intensified. Now while each of us could be amply caring and forgiving to others, neither could extend that same love to the other. And, it wasn’t until we had families of our own did we choose to reconcile. We had discovered that what we desired for our children in their relationships, had been missing in our own. So, to teach them, reconciliation first had to begin with us. Since then, we have seen the fruits and feel blessed by the graced invitation to listen, pray and be a part of one another’s lives.
In this Gospel reading, Jesus is challenging each one of us to go deeper in considering the commandment to love. As God’s love and care is inclusive, it therefore cannot be constrained or limited to those who already love us or can be of assistance. Rather, it asks us to strive to see one another as God sees us. Then, to take the love and forgiveness we have experienced from God and offer it equally. Especially, when it is the most difficult. Here, the value of reconciliation is not only in overcoming personal injury but repairing the relationships that have suffered with God and our enemy. For both are indelibly linked in the fullness of God’s love.
Who am I withholding forgiveness to in my life today, and how could that be detrimental in my relationship with God?
Loving Father, Your love is so complete and Your mercy so generous. Help me not to place conditions on Your love in my everyday walk with others.
Copyright 2018 Elizabeth Reardon
Elizabeth Reardon is Director of Parish Ministries and Pastoral Associate for the Collaborative Parishes of Resurrection & St. Paul in Hingham, Massachusetts, a wife of 23 years, mother of three, and writer at Theologyisaverb.com. Her writing is an invitation to seek and create space for God in the midst of the busyness of everyday life.
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