What are we to make of Jesus’ words today to love your enemy, pray for those who mistreat you, give to others what they ask of you and to those who take what is yours do not demand it back? We heard a lot of hard sayings including the Golden Rule to do unto others what you would have them do to you.
Sometimes we Catholic are said to be cafeteria Catholics. We pick and choose what we like and leave aside what we don’t like. We like some of the things we hear Jesus say and as for others, we just pass them by.
I believe it was Matthew Clark who in one of his books described us as having a good self, a better self and a best self. Today Jesus is inviting us to become our best self.
Lending freely, loving your enemies, stop judging, be more forgiving and giving the shirt off your back are hard in practice even for the saintly. The Golden Rule sums it all up but it is easier said than done. Still, Jesus sees in us what we sometimes don’t allow ourselves to see. He knows what we are capable of for as the psalmist said today in Psalm 139, he probed us, and he knows us; he knows when we sit and when we stand. He was the one who formed us in our mother’s womb.
We are presented with a choice: comfort or challenge. It was the Reverend Billy Graham who said that the greatest gift we can pass on to our children, grandchildren is not money or material things accumulated throughout our lives but rather a legacy of character and faith. That is precisely what Jesus is speaking about in the gospel today, character and faith.
These days there is a presidential campaign underway in the United States. For some it is about finance, better jobs, higher wages all good things. But what of the concerns that Jesus spoke of today? They also need to be part of the equation if we are truly his disciples.
Yes, Jesus has probed us and knows us but today he is asking us to probe ourselves, to form our consciences, and to become our Best selves by striving to do the right thing for increasingly more noble, holier reasons.
Father Leo's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!