Be merciful as your Father in Heaven is merciful!

In today’s Gospel, we have the second part of the “Discourse of the Plain.” In the first part, Jesus addresses himself to the disciples. In the second part, today’s gospel, he addresses himself “ to you who listens to me,” that is, the great crowds of poor and sick people who had come from all parts. Two phrases of Jesus help us to understand what he wants to teach. The first phrase is the so-called Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would like people to treat you!” The second phrase is: “Be merciful as your Father in Heaven is merciful!” These two phrases indicate that Jesus does not want simply to change the situation; he wants to change the system.

The novelty which he wants to construct comes from the new experience of God the Father, full of tenderness, who accepts all! Furthermore, Jesus demands the no-retaliation attitude: “Love your enemies!” Love cannot depend on what I receive from others. True love should want the good of others, independently of what he or she does to me. We are to do good as much as we can, even if we receive evil from others; Jesus gave the best example from the cross by forgiving those who crucified him, by being merciful to them. May the Lord help us to always do good no matter what.

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