THE GOLDEN RULE

June 22, 2021 – Tuesday 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062221.cfm)

Do you want others to be kind to you? Then, be kind to others. Do you want others to be generous to you? Then, be generous to others. Do you want others to love you? Then, be loving to people around you.

This sounds simple, isn’t it? However, our experiences would tell us that this is not always the case.

Think of people who remain ungrateful to you despite kindness and generosity to them. Think of your friends, collogues and neighbors who talked behind your back, though you have been nice to them but they remained vicious behind you. Think of people who want to stay at your side as long as you can provide them their wants and needs. Yet, once you fail to give what they want, then, they turn against you. Think of people who ignore you, criticize you and insult you before others.

The Golden Rule, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you,” as the summary of the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament, sounds absurd.  But then, this really sounds ridiculous when we ourselves are not convinced of its power and its significance in our Christian life. Indeed, the Golden Rule of Jesus has its power to transform individuals and communities. The Golden Rule inspires change of attitude and of the heart not just to the one doing it but also to the person who is the recipient of the good deed.

This is what Abram showed to Lot, proclaimed in the Book of Genesis. Abram showed kindness and more consideration to Lot so that no strife shall be created between them. In return, Abram was blessed more by the Lord. The Lord God promised him vast land and many descendants.

That is why, Jesus also gave the Golden Rule to his disciples in a positive way, “Do to others what you want others to do you.” Jesus avoided the negative but passive approach of, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you.”

This positive approach of Jesus invites us in taking a proactive stance by initiating kindness, goodness, love, forgiveness and giving respect to others even if they are not deserving.

Consequently, this is not that simple. For this reason, Jesus calls this the “narrow gate” because only few people will take the risk of expressing kindness and giving utmost respect to undeserving people.

Yet, once we take the risk of going into this “narrow gate,” we shall also find life and freedom. This is how we shall also “live in the presence of the Lord,” proclaimed by the Responsorial Psalm.

This invitation is also a reminder to us now because God loves us even though we are unworthy and underserving.

Today, we may learn to take the risk and actively do good to people around us, no matter who they are. Let others feel our presence that neither judges nor condemns, but a presence that shows kindness and respect. Hinaut pa.

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