Today’s Gospel reading is from Matthew 5:43-48. Jesus explains to us that we are called to love our enemies. In the reflection in Magnificat, there were some very intriguing points that I think are reflective of how we are called to treat others.
“Experience has shown me too late that we cannot judge people by their vices, but on the contrary by what they hold intact and pure, by the child-like qualities that remain in them, however deeply one must search for them.” (George Bernanos).
Not only does Christ give, but he does so by making himself smaller than we are: at Christmas an infant, at the angony a beggar, and before the Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, and Mary Magdalene, with the washing of the feet. At every moment, Christ puts himself on a lower level than those he loves, accepts the fact that he needs them, not for the sake of some strategy or clever calculation, but to evoke in such people the best part of their being – their heart, their generosity – in order to make them capable of giving in their turn.
— Wow! Now, this is something that I can work at! I have always been accused of looking at the good in people vs. the bad. What I am in fact doing is looking for the pure, the child-like qualities that they possess. By doing so, you can almost always find good within the people. I also like the way it describes Jesus making himself smaller than we are and how by doing so, shows how he needs us and by doing so, teaches us to to give to others ourselves.
Sometimes, this is so HARD to do though. (Which is probably why the last line of this Scripture passage is the hardest for me — “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”) I am definitely not perfect. But, IF I can remember to do this and humble myself, maybe life would be calmer and more peaceful sometimes. So, I guess when this part gets to feeling impossible to really do, maybe the trick is to go back to looking for the pure and child-like qualities that remain. In other words, look for what makes you love them to begin with and then the rest should fall into place.