Prayer: O Lord, you demand so much but you reward so generously.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)
Jesus does not give these commands to the crowds but to his disciples. He reveals what he expects of them. The demands are high but the reward is even greater.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus said to his disciples, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those that curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn and offer him the other. If someone takes your cloak, offer him your coat, also.
Give to everyone who asks. When someone takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others as you would have them treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks do you deserve? Sinners do the same. If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you deserve? Sinners do the same. If you lend to those who will repay, what do you deserve? Sinners lend to sinners to be repaid.
Love your enemies and do good. Lend without expecting repayment. In this your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and to the wicked. Be merciful, therefore, as your Father is merciful.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- These commands demand a drastic change in behavior.
- Jesus wants a total change in our relationships and a total rethinking of how we act.
- Frequently, he mentions what sinners do for their friends. The disciples are called to much more for everyone.
- God acts this way. He blesses sinners and gives them earthly goods. Should not the disciple imitate God.
- Jesus wants disciples who are as merciful as God is merciful.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, help me to pray for my enemies and to do good to those who hate me.
- Jesus, I will love those who do not deserve love. This will be my gift.
- Jesus, I am special to you. I am your disciple. You expect much more of me.
- I see clearly, Jesus. My heavenly Father acts this way and You reveal his heart.
- I will give and seek no reward. This is how you love me.
- O Lord, I will pour out my mercy upon all, no exceptions. I will imitate the Father who has mercy for all.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will examine how I treat the people in my life.
- I will make changes and ask God for help.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High.