“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
In this Gospel, the Lord is teaching us how we should treat others. It is called the Golden Rule. For what we do unto others should be consonant with what we would expect them to do unto us. The Spirit of Christ should dwell within us. It is a spirit of Love and truth. For the Lord God is Absolute Love and Absolute Truth.
The Christian life is a life of perfection. For Our Lord tells us to be merciful as Our Heavenly Father is merciful. We are all called to do good not only to those who are good to us but to love our “enemies” and to do good. Never do we condone sin, but rather call evil for what it is, namely evil. We pray for the “conversion” of sinners, that they tun away from sin and turn towards God. God is the All-Good One. In the Divine Liturgy, in the First Antiphon, we say in Him (the Lord God) there is no wrong.
If we as followers of Christ would only love those who love us, what credit would there be. The Lord tells us that sinners even love those that love them. That’s natural and usually occurs. But to love those that dislike you or hate you or wish well nor do something good for you, that requires inner strength and divine assistance. God sends us His graces and blessings to withstand the temptations of the evil one. The Lord also instructs us to pray for those who persecute us, cause us pain or suffering or impede us from successfully completing the good work we seek to do and begin to do.
We are called to be loving, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving of those who trespass against us, do us wrong. Sins of malice are serious sins because they are done with full knowledge and consent and even with the intent to harm or injure another. That is why we are to practice the Golden Rule, to be considerate of the needs of others and their weaknesses and need for mutual support. If we would face the difficulties and challenges of this world together as one Family of God, the evil one would never succeed in impeding us from doingthe good God calls us to do.
We are all children of God whom the Lord God loves equally and without distinction. The Love of Christ is all-inclusive and excludes no one. Whenever we are blessed by God-given talents or wealth, we are called to share with others. We are called to be self-giving and live an altruistic life, not self-seeking, but rather being of pure intent and with compassion towards others. The Kingdom of God would come alive within us and would be present already here on earth. The earthly life for a Christian is a sojourn, a pilgrimage to the Heavenly City (a term St. Augustine used in speaking of Heaven).
We would reflect Christ, the Light of the world. As true disciples of the Lord would enlighten others to go and do likewise. Hatred, envy and prejudice would be overcome by the power of the Grace of God. Each would anticipate doing the act of goodness and kindness towards others and this would be so to speak “Heaven on earth.”
Rev. D. George Worschak