The Lord said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.
You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the Lord.” (Lv 19:1-2,17-18)
When I was in high school, our gym teacher was trying to teach us how to vault the pommel horse. He explained to us, over and over again, how to run up to it, how to grab it, and how to vault over it. Finally, he said that he would show us.
He ran to the horse, stumbled before getting to it, rammed into it awfully hard, and broke his leg.
The next day, as we came into class, there was a sign on the horse that said, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
That phrase is used many times by people to get others to do what they want. They chide people by saying that they should listen to directions and not necessarily pay attention to the example given.
God is not like that, though.
He could easily say, “Do as I say AND as I do” because His actions are consistent with His words.
God is a God of love, of care, of concern. God is a God of mercy, of forgiveness, of healing. God is a God who wants us to treat each other just as He treats us, with unconditional love.
That is operative in today’s Gospel as well. Jesus is telling His followers, “You have heard it said…what I tell you…” He is doing this to perfect the love of His followers. God wants us to know His love. God wants us to be His love in our world.
Today, let us, truly, do as He says and as He does.
FAITH ACTION: How can you show God’s love this day?