Saturday, 15 February 2020

Not only...but also

This Sunday’s gospel contains some hard teaching...

Matthew 5:43-48
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 children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

You have heard it said...
Lord, your teaching may simplify the law
but it does not diminish 
You make it plain
that what you ask of us
goes further
reaches deeper
demands more
More love
More compassion
More grace
You teach us
not just how to get by
but how to contribute
to the well-being
of all creation
You show us
how to transform the world
by being more
So, on those days 
when we are tempted
to give what comes easy
Or to simply follow others 
in half hearted gestures
Preserve us from being judgmental
and compel us to action
that stems from the awareness
that we are shot through
with your divine spirit
moulded with infinite love.
Help us to dig deeper
so that as you have blessed us
we may bless others
As you have forgiven us
we may forgive others
As you have loved us
we may love others
And, when we encounter those
who make all these things difficult
give us your heart of compassion
and your strength of mind
and root us in your power
so that we can do no other
but follow your law of love
until practice makes perfect
and grace abounds.

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