Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel is from the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain. If we look back over the whole sermon (see Lk 6:20-49), which we heard this week, what might we gain from such a spiritual treatise? There is no other teaching quite like it.
The Kingdom of God upholds the opposite of what we would think. Those who are poor are blessed, as well as the hungry, the disheartened, and the outsider. Wealth, gratification, arrogance, the well-spoken of—these are not qualities of the Kingdom of God. Hate is to be responded to with love; greed is to be repaid with generosity. By so doing, we act like God, who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. (Lk 6:35) Above all, mercy is valued in the Kingdom of God. Judgment and condemnation are not ours to give, but rather forgiveness. The measure of mercy we show will in return be measured out to you. (Lk 6:38)
All of these spiritual values come to a head…in the heart. Jesus says, “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Lk 6:45)
But then, as if to put a stake in his words, Jesus says: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?” (Lk 6:46) Jesus’ teaching is not just a spiritual treatise to appreciate and do nothing about it. For those who follow Jesus, it is a command. It is the standard, the foundation on which we build our Christian lives. Let us, then, strive to put these teachings into practice.
Reflection by Br. Luke Kral, OSB