Today’s Gospel reading gives us another set of passages from the Sermon on the Plain. What jumps out at me the most is the overflowing generosity of love. “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…” The imagery here is so vivid.
Thinking about this from the standpoint of a parent, there is no limit to the happiness I want for my children. I want them to know Christ, to enjoy beatitude, to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. In short, I want them to be fully alive in the life of Christ. Of course, I do want them to enjoy things like good food, shelter, healthy relationships, and so forth. How much more does our heavenly Father want this for us? Toward this end, we receive from Jesus the recipe: agape love. The giving of the self for the sake of the other. What God does for us He asks us to do for others. Not so that He can somehow gain something from it, but so that our joy might be complete.
When we take the judgment of others upon ourselves, when we withhold forgiveness, when we condemn, we cut ourselves off from happiness. When we emulate the love of Christ, one that does not hoard but overflows, we tap into the essence of happiness; the very nature of God.
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