The Gospel according to Matthew (7:6,12-14)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”
There really are just a few statements from Scripture that pretty much everyone has heard, whether they are Christian or not. John 3:16, for example, “For God so loved the world..”. Another is from Genesis, where Cain asks God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”. Another one that we all know of is the “Golden Rule”, Matthew 7:12, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” It really is a good guideline of life!
Both Chuck and I have been involved in religious education for most of our married life together. We were involved in a youth ministry that gave charismatic retreats for youth in preparation for Confirmation. We both have been teachers of religious education, for high school students preparing for Confirmation, for younger kids, and the last couple of years in RCIA. While we may not recall specifically teaching the Golden Rule, it always is there beneath all that we do as followers of Jesus.
One of Chuck’s sources for preparing these reflections is a website operated by a group of Irish Jesuits. On their site, they pointed out that the Christian “Golden Rule” is not unique among the religions of the world. It can actually be stated “negatively” – “don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.” The thing about this “negative” statement is that we can meet that standard by doing nothing at all.
As followers of Jesus, though, we aren’t called to just “do nothing”. We are called to act, and to love and to care for others. When we act in love, helping out our brothers and sisters, we do follow the “Golden Rule”, and maybe we also give another person a little more joy and hope in their day. That’s really the best way of looking at this rule, and may we each seek to share more of that “gold” today, wherever we go.
Action for the Day:
This is a no-brainer! Live the “Golden Rule” today! Do a kind act to someone else today. Smile at someone you don’t know. Love those whom God places in your path today!
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!