The reading from Deuteronomy today describes the character of the relationship between God and the people of Israel. The relationship of the Israelites is to be total, to engage their whole heart and soul. God insists on nothing less. And God promises nothing less; they will be His very own people. In Christ, God will more fully reveal what His total commitment means for us.
In Psalm 119, the psalmist rejoices in the happiness of those who walk in the Law of God and seek Him with their whole heart. At the same time, the psalmist draws attention to our weak humanity by expressing the intention to be faithful to God’s law while earnestly asking for God’s aid and that He never abandon us.
Christ, the revelation of God’s infinite love for us, tells us today in Matthew’s Gospel that we must be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect. We must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Because of the blessing of our circumstances, most of us have no real ‘enemies.’ What do Christ’s words mean for us in our life?
We are called to love and pray for those who hurt us by ignoring us, by judging us wrongly, by being envious and jealous of us. We must intend only good for those who cause us suffering. We must strive to love them with pure forgiveness. If we are to become like God, we must begin in this life the journey of learning what it is to love infinitely.
Father, with You all things are possible, please never abandon us and keep us on the path, that is Christ who is “The Way,” that brings us home to You.
Eleanor and Peter Tumulty, Professor of Philosophy
First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website