“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.” These words from Jesus in today’s Gospel seem pretty straightforward. They raise the question, how do I want to be treated?
Treat me with kindness.
Give me your respect, even if I am different from you.
Treat me justly.
Remember we are all connected when you speak and behave.
Grant me your forgiveness quickly and easily when I make mistakes (and I will).
Remember we are all one.
Love me for who I am, not what I do.
Celebrate our common life in God together with me.
Share, protect and care for our common home and resources with me.
Listen, love, laugh, cry and suffer with me in the present moment.
Seems like these requests are not what we see reflected on social media and the news every day. We are divided. We live in the divisive hell of “I’m right and you’re wrong.” We don’t even venture into the territory of “both and and.” We are so far from what we have come to know as the “golden rule” that we easily lose hope.
I guess there’s a reason Jesus seems to refer to the golden rule as the “narrow gate” in today’s reading from Matthew. It’s just not easy to live this way. We have to learn to focus in an out of focus world. Take some time with me today and make a list of how you want to be treated. When the day comes to a close, ask yourself if you applied the list to others. May God bless our efforts!
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of the Passionist Family in Louisville, Kentucky.