“Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
Today’s Gospel is a really hard one for me. “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
I don’t want to love everyone. I don’t want to love my persecutors. I’m having a hard enough time loving the people in my building today.
Everything that can go wrong seems to be doing so.
I have just gotten off of a long battle with our internet host provider because of several technical issues related to our websites. Of course, they all cropped up when I was on a cruise ship in Alaska. Not being able to take care of them immediately, the provider suspended all our sites. It has taken until this morning to get things up and running again.
Then there is the air conditioning in our buildings. Or, should I say, the lack thereof? Mid 90’s and we have no air. Humidity is circulating around, making all the wood in the church very damp, including our organ and new Steinway piano.
Then there are the many things going on in the festival set-up. The heat outside certainly is not helping in that regard.
I’m hot, I’m cranky, I’m stressed . . . and I’m supposed to love my enemies?!
Isn’t that the way with our lives? The day that we are having the most trouble, we are reminded to seek perfection, to rise above our human failings.
But Jesus was spot-on. He knows our human nature — He assumed our nature for His very self — yet He also knows that we can rise above our nature if we but allow Him to help us.
FAITH ACTION: Is there someone out there who needs your forgiveness and love? Someone you may have been avoiding? Do all you can to forgive that person today.