Christianity, I remind myself, is an aspirational religion. I usually get to pray the daily Mass readings in the morning (preferred location: outdoors), or at daily Mass, or both. Today was one of those special days when a confluence of laziness, fatigue, and good fortune conspired to make me miss out on both go-rounds.
But all was not lost! 16th of the month means I’d already read and reflected on the Gospel for your CatholicMom.com meditational pleasure.
It’s like prepaid holiness.
It turns out I didn’t much like what I read:
This Gospel passage is foreign to me. Not foreign as in, “delicious French baguettes still warm from the bakery!” Foreign as in, “Let’s have sea worms for dinner!” It doesn’t beckon me to some wonderful land. It beckons me to a strange, scary place I don’t want to go.
Topic is loving one’s enemies, and if you doubt the seriousness of that admonition, read the Old Testament selection for today that sets the stage. Hence I reject the Tame Jesus smoothing over of our Lord’s firm words:
I have heard people – wise, learned, holy people – tame this passage. The tame version is difficult enough: Pray for your enemies, keep an even temper, look for that creative third way to resolve conflicts. If I manage even the domesticated version of this Gospel, that’s a pretty big day for me, spiritually speaking.
And since even Tame Jesus is more holiness than I usually manage, what hope for junior Christians like you and me? Read the whole thing and find out.
By Gibson & Co., publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons