THE GREATEST LAW WE DON’T LIVE BY
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?Matthew 5:38 -47
An excerpt of the Gospel reading from last Sunday’s mass. the Priest talked about the greatest commandment, the only true commandment that people, atheists and believers alike, should live by, “love thy neighbor as yourself, or in plainer speak, ” treat others the way you wish to be treated.” A basic tenant of humanity, and yet it is not, because we understand that it is a perfect and infallible behavior, which is not man-made.
We strive for that love of humanity, knowing that the sun shines and the rain pours, on the just and unjust alike. Today, Lent begins for Christians. Yet, I feel that it is not just Christians who can benefit from this special time. A time period that marks discipline, sacrifice and self-reflection but also of renewal.
We Think Aspirationally But Behave Practically.
Self-improvement. The desire to be better. That is the perfect purity of optimism in all of us, even the most cynical. It is easy to love and respect those that are close to us but what pushes us to be kind and respectful to the many transactional interactions we may have on daily basis? We don’t believe behavior is altruistic anymore than we believe in the tooth fairy BUT it doesn’t stop us from being kind. It is the aspirational in us, that knows a step further, are those people betray or wrong us in some way. There is always a step further we can go. In pursuit of that infallible behavior that lies deep within our souls, perhaps too deep for some of us to journey. We fear and loathe the self-righteous yet we are also curious enough to want to delve in our capacities for just “being better.” It feels good, after all.
Those moments of brilliance, when we channel our “super selves.”
Living is Easy. It is Trying That is Hard.
When I think about the definition of faith and love, it reminds me that it should take no effort. It is written that God loves us all equally, waits patiently for us to find perfection, a mere reflection of who He is.
The selfishness and ego lay next to the good in us. He understand and accepts us with all of our impediments. In fact, we are our own impediment. I believe that the moments we create are all opportunities to be better, just a little bit.
Regardless of the faith we hold in God or don’t, there is comfort in knowing the infallibility of graciousness and love.
Lent is a focused opportunity to live differently. Will we?