Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Luke 6,17-38

"Treat others as you would like them to treat you"

It’s so simple. It makes such sense. This Golden Rule, as it is known, is to be found in one way or another in virtually every religion and among many people outside of any formal religion. It is something written into the hearts of decent people, urging them to treat others with the same respect and consideration that they themselves would like. And yet we see so much around us that is the consequence of ignoring the golden rule, from authority’s abuse of power, acts of war and terrorism, to more personal stories of greed, jealousy and hate. Our experience reveals a culture of tit-for-tat, of looking after those who look after you, of giving as good as you get – understood negatively!

Once again, what Jesus has to say is in stark contrast to the ways of the world: “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly”. He does not suggest that we can go through life without enemies. We all have to face the unpleasant reality of negative relationships. What Jesus does expect of us is something more difficult than not having enemies: he asks us quite simply to love them – to reflect in our relationships the non-discriminating love shown by God, to “be compassionate as your Father is compassionate”. This demands the self-sacrificing sort of love demonstrated by Jesus himself. It’s the cost of the golden rule, and it’s a daunting invitation until we remember: he lives on in us and empowers us to walk in his Way.