Arulvakku

27.02.10 PERFECTION

Posted under Reflections on February 26th, 2010 by

"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, 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.  For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?  So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5, 43-48)

 

God the Father is the model for our earthly life and as children of this Father we are asked to imitate Him.

In this passage three types of people are presented as models: tax collectors, pagans and God the Father.

Tax collectors love in return only those who love them. They could be anybody: Jews, Romans, slaves etc.  If they love the tax collectors then they are loved in return.

Pagans greet their brothers. Pagans keep to their own kith and kin. They do not move out of their group, or race etc.

Love and greetings are expressions of relationships. These two relationships are exclusive relationships. These two relationships are self-centered, limited, controlled.

God the Father loves everyone. He has no distinctions and differences. God does not even look into the justifiable differences. The usual differences are between good and bad; just and unjust. No one will be really sad (in practice) when a wicked man is punished. In the same way no one will be hurt when an unjust man is penalized. One would even say that he (the offender) deserves the punishment.

But God loves everyone. When giving rain and sunshine he does not look at the colour, caste, creed, nationality, and even moral differences (good/bad; just/unjust).

Perfection of God here is not in the moral Perfection (which is impossible to attain) but perfection in loving everyone without looking into the differences. “Be merciful,  just as your Father is merciful”. (Lk 6,36)

 

 

26.02.10 RECONCILIATION & FRIENDSHIP

Posted under Reflections on February 25th, 2010 by

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.  Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. (Mt 5, 23-26)

 

Jesus offers two specific and practical commands. Be reconciled; make friends. So simple and yet so difficult and costly.

Reconciliation means climbing down from the high pedestal on which one has placed himself, abandoning one’s position of superiority over the person one is angry with etc. Climbing down from pedestal is important because it make one truly human. Humans do not live on pedestal. Humans are on their feet on the ground that is on the level ground that is on a level with everyone. So reconciliation is being on level with everyone else.

This reconciliation takes precedence over worship. Being on level with everyone is better than worship. It is similar to “What I desire is love and not sacrifices” (Hos 6, 6).

The second command is to make friends. Laws, rules, courts etc will only serve to prove one against the other. They will show that one is better or right over against the other. Also, except in friendship, all the other relationships do not show equality. Only in friendship the persons are equal and relate equally.

Jesus is proposing reconciliation and friendship as solution. Both reconciliation and friendship make the partners equal and keep them on level grounds.

We are all equal in the sight of God and that is what we should be and that is the solution. 

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