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March 12, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Matthew 5:43-48
You have heard, that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: love your enemies;
and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both
the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what is special

about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the
pagans do as much? As for you, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.




The book of Deuteronomy invites us to follow God’s ways,
His norms, in return for being counted His people. The stress
is on His norms; not ours. That is the only way we can become
perfect as He is perfect. But what are His norms? Jesus
breaks it down in plain terms: Loving the enemy, praying for
the oppressors, sharing “sun and rain” (read: ‘resources’) with
everyone without minding their merits or demerits. Mystics speak
of an “enlarging of heart” as we grow in union with God. This
stretching of heart is precisely for the purpose of taking in God;
but God hardly comes alone; He always comes as a community,
with a bunch of people. Perhaps we are afraid if our hearts will
break, accommodating so many. We can tweak a bit and adapt
the prayer Nikos Kazantzakis attributes to those who have
God’s kind of heart: “Overstretch me, Lord. Who cares if I break?”



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