Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Kings 19:9b-11.14-21.31-35a.36; Matthew 7:6.12-14)
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap, has the intriguing title of “preacher of the papal household.” His duties include delivering a weekly sermon during Advent and Lent to Vatican officials. In one Lenten sermon Fr. Cantalamessa advised that people not love others like they loves themselves. He reasoned that many people are so self-indulgent that they do harm by treating them as they treat themselves. Although the preacher makes a good point, Jesus’ maxim found in today’s gospel remains valid.
As Jesus indicates, the “Golden Rule” is not his alone. Different versions of it are found in the sacred writings of most religions and well as the Hebrew Scriptures. Since everyone wants to be cherished, the rule has been rephrased as “Love others as you love yourself.” Jesus himself makes this revision in the Gospel of Luke. The statement takes for granted that we want what is truly good for ourselves -- nothing false, spiteful, or harmful.
A number of years ago there was a controversy about another rule of thumb involving Jesus. People wondered if “What would Jesus do?” (“WWJD?” was the popular acronym) is a sufficient guide for action. Some thought it impossible to know what Jesus would do. Really? Doesn’t he tell us what he would do when he says, “’Do to others what you would have them do to you.’”