Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Extraordinary Love

There is a Love which drives us beyond ourselves and what is expected to give more than we think we can …or should, more than any think reasonable.

This Love has a name, the name of the Crucified One, who is the face of The Loving Mystery no time has ever understood.

Who can understand Love that does not quail in the face of brutal suffering, a Love that never ceases to offer its enemies what they most need? And who needs this Love more than those who resist and reject its embrace?

The Christian faith does not call for reasonable action and attitudes. It always calls us to More, to know and be the More, to live the More that Christ is … and is in us.

That we should love our friends, our families and those who treat us well—this is expected. Reasonable.

Our hearts do not recoil from this. This is only just. But Christ calls us beyond what is just and right, beyond normal, beyond what every right-thinking person knows is good.

We are called by an unreasonable Love to live this Love—this Extraordinary Love—not in heroic moments but as our normal posture and orientation toward all we encounter.

Our failures to love are our friend as we journey into the Love Christ is. They daily remind us that our egos must die to our insistence that life must always make sense, that people must be fair. We must surrender the rage that boils at criticism and disrespect, however unfair they may be.

This is all beyond us, of course. No one can do it. Maybe the martyrs or those of remarkable spirit and piety. Unless: Unless we know this Extraordinary Love and live in its embrace every moment of our breathing.

Only then … in knowing … are we free from ego’s insistent demands. And Christ breathes the air of his Extraordinary Love through our lives. Even there.

Pr. David L. Miller