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The New Love – Mature, Christian Love – The Cross

by Jun 18, 2024Friar Reflection

In the Old Testament everything about our relationship with God and others became reduced to interpretations, delineations, and limitations of God’s will. God’s law helped Israel control the human tendency to violence and revenge. God’s intention was for his Law to be a way of life. But as human beings, we all tend to look for the easy road and how to limit our responsibilities.

The Sermon on the Mount is like a sudden leap forward along the same path announced in the Old Testament, but without the limitations and interpretations that we put on God’s Word and will. We were all created in the image of God, an image of explosive love; love that always goes out of itself. That is what is imprinted on our souls and hearts.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus uses words and language to express who God is and who we are as human beings, children of God. Many times, the language used in the Sermon on the Mount is strong, shocking, and forceful – as we hear today. Many folks in his day who thought they were being very saintly were actually living lives similar to the pagans – people who did not know God or who rejected God. Jesus also compares them to tax collectors who were considered among the most despicable people possible. Pagans and tax collectors have a whole system of supportive human relationships based on mutual benefits and gains. The core is always: What’s in it for me?

Jesus gives life to the words of the Sermon on the Mount on the Cross. His own life was completely sacrificed for the good of others, even his enemies. This is true love, self-giving love, love in the dimension of the Cross. This is the new love that reveals God to all.

As Christians we are called to live loving others without reservations, without looking for any personal gain or benefit, even to the extent of loving those who do evil to us. That is mature, Christian love in the dimension of the Cross.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.