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28 February 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5.43-end

This is a call to aim high – to aim for the highest.

We could just settle for being ok. But Jesus says, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Doing our best in Jesus’ eyes involves loving even those who hate us. It involves seeing the best in them as well as the worst, and praying only blessing upon them. This is an attitude the Psalmist found difficult – if not impossible. It is a new idea with Jesus, who calls his follower to go further, to love more, to reach beyond simply satisfying the requirements. His aim is nothing less than the restoration of God’s image in God’s people. If we are made to be like him, then we can and should become like him, and this all the more so now that he gives us the Holy Spirit to do transfiguring glory in us – etching his holiness in us as we receive it as pure gift.

Sadly it is true today, perhaps more than ever, that there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing violent opposition and persecution in various parts of the world. We must pray for them, that they will be given courage to live faithfully to Jesus, and to his way of love, despite the hatred they experience from others from day to day. I wonder how would we react in their circumstances?

Am I aiming for the highest? Do I show love to those who don’t love me, who seem to despise me and the things I say and do?

Lord, show me your way, and, by your Holy Spirit, make it possible for me to become more like you. Amen.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5.43-end

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour 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.