Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: Do to others; children of the Most High; Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful; good measure

To the point: Jesus makes our call to live as “children of the Most high” concrete and practical.

The norms of behavior he lays down move us from the already high standard “do to others as you would have them do to you” to the even higher standard “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

We are empowered to act in this way because of the extravagant good measure with which God continually acts toward us.

Connecting the Gospel …

... to the first reading: It was perfectly permissible and encoded in the Law to exact an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Saul's attempts on David's life justify Abishai's desire to kill Saul whom, after all, “the Lord delivered” into David's hands. David's sparing Saul's life was a gesture of mercy which superseded the Law.

The Gospel challenges us to the same measure of mercy.

... to experience: In a society where the standard for many is “dog eat dog” and getting ahead at any cost, the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a high standard, indeed.

What a challenge the Gospel poses!


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson