Today is Tuesday the 16 June, in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time.
Saviour of my soul, this day keep me whole. Can I join in this prayer, as I listen? Whatever turmoil there is within me, whatever failings and shortcomings of mine I am aware of, can I present myself now to the One who knows and understands and forgives all of that, - the One who, knowing what I’m like, has given himself freely for my sake – and trust myself entirely to his mercy?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Today’s sayings are no easier than yesterday’s. Do I want to pray for my persecutors? It’s not always easy to keep on good terms with my friends, let alone love my enemies. Have I ever found myself able to look with love at someone I considered my enemy? Have I ever come close?
The passage ends with a challenge to be perfect like God! How can we be? Another possible translation is “complete” - to be complete like God in the way that we reach out to everyone... Does this understanding of Jesus’s words speak to me? Does it console me? Does it challenge me?
Listen to the reading again and see if that challenge of completeness says something to you now.
What can I ask of God that will help me to be more complete?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it as in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.