Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 7:6, 12-14), Jesus uses an image that most of us may never have used in our lives. Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not give to dogs what is holy. And do not throw your pearls before swine.” Jesus cautions his disciples that “the dogs and swine” may turn on you and perhaps they even may tear you to pieces. Jesus then moves into a more positive message, the Golden Rule. He instructs his disciples to treat others as they want others to treat them. The Golden Rule is the ethical principle of treating other people as one's self would prefer to be treated. One of Jesus' most famous and impactful teachings. In summary, the Golden Rule encompasses the empathic essence of morality. It is a simple yet powerful way of saying that we should recognize the respective dignity of our fellow sisters and brothers and not forget we all are capable of inflicting immoral actions. This is vital in following the commandments of God and creating a more virtuous world.
Today Jesus has a countercultural message for our world: treat others as you desire to be treated. Ask yourself: how do you want others to treat you: with sincere respect, acknowledgment and interest?
This may sound easy, but it often is not as easy as it seems. It seems like our world turns and moves at a fast pace. People have places to go and people to see. As a consequence of the fast pace of life, we may lose some of our care and attention for one another. And what a loss this would be!
The Golden Rule has inspired several subsequent sayings and ethical declarations since its revelation by Jesus. Listed below are some examples of such inspirations: “Put yourself in their shoes” - Another call to empathy and understanding another’s situation and point of view, this phrase calls upon us to picture ourselves as our fellow human and recognize the sovereignty and emotions of each individual. Another is; “Do not do unto others as you would not want done to you.” - Also known as the Silver Rule, this inversion of the Golden Rule reminds us to not do what we would prefer not to happen to ourselves. Essentially this is the negative version of the Golden Rule.
Today I invite you to truly be present to the people you encounter. It may be that you only have a minute, but you can make the most of that minute.
You never know it may not only make the other person’s day, it also may make your day! That is what Jesus would do! What will we do?