Daily Reflection for Tuesday, June 16, 2020
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Kings 21:17-29
Responsorial: Psalm 51:3-6, 11 and 16
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father … Matthew 5:44-45
When I was a young teenager, my father would often invite/draft me to accompany him when he attended a funeral visitation in the Irish neighborhood in Chicago where he grew up. Of course, I never knew a soul at these gatherings and would sit quietly as my father made his way to speak with the grieving family and to old friends from his childhood. But I wasn’t as anonymous as I tried to be. Often a stranger would approach and say, “You must be Jim Kelly’s daughter. You look just like him.”
That memory came back to me as I read today’s gospel. Jesus urges his hearers to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. In that way they will look just like their heavenly Father.
Jesus explains that God pours out His goodness on the bad and the good … on the just and the unjust. In other words, God does not decide who is deserving of His love. How different that is from our usual transactional approach to relationships where we typically respond in kind to the treatment we have received—positively to those who’ve treated us well and negatively to those who haven’t. Jesus is calling us to a higher standard.
How different our world would look, how different our communities and families would be, how many hearts might we touch if we always responded with mercy, love, and compassion as God does for us! That is what Jesus wants to teach us today.
Jesus concludes today’s teaching by saying, “So be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v. 48). It’s interesting to compare Luke’s parallel gospel passage which says instead, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36).
Who are the people who have revealed God’s love and mercy to you? Who might discover God’s love and mercy through you today?
Click here for a beautiful musical reminder of God’s endless love and mercy.
Wishing you God’s blessings,