EMBRACING THE GOLDEN RULE: TREATING OTHERS WITH LOVE, RESPECT, AND FAIRNESS
First Reading: Genesis 13:2,5-18
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 14(15):2-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:6,12-14
In the depths of our human experience, there exists a profound truth that resonates across cultures, religions, and generations. It is a timeless principle that holds the power to transform our relationships, our communities, and even our world. It is the simple yet profound commandment to “treat others the way we want to be treated.” In these few words, lies a monumental shift in perspective—an invitation to embrace empathy, compassion, and a profound understanding of our shared humanity. Therefore, on this Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, we continue our journey of faith, seeking wisdom and guidance from the Word of God of the day, which emphasizes the importance of treating others with kindness, generosity, and respect.
Taking our point of departure from the Gospel Reading (Matthew 7:6,12-14), Jesus imparts a profound lesson that echoes throughout the ages: “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.” These words serve as a guiding principle for our interactions and relationships, encouraging us to approach others with compassion, empathy, and kindness. When we explore the story of Abraham and Lot in the First Reading (Genesis 13:2,5-18), we witness a beautiful illustration of this principle in action. As Abram’s possessions grew, he found himself in a situation where he and his nephew Lot needed to part ways. Rather than asserting his own desires or asserting his right to choose first, Abram selflessly offered Lot the first choice of land. In this act of generosity and humility, Abraham exemplified the golden rule before it was even spoken. He treated Lot as he would have liked to be treated himself. What is striking about this encounter is that despite seemingly relinquishing his own advantage, Abraham was blessed abundantly. God honoured his selflessness by assuring him that the land would be given to him and his descendants forever. It serves as a powerful reminder that when we choose to treat others with respect and consideration, not seeking our own interests at the expense of others, blessings can flow in unexpected and remarkable ways.
In the same vein, Psalm 14(15):2-5 further reinforces the importance of righteous living and integrity. It describes the qualities of a person who can dwell in the presence of God, emphasizing virtues such as honesty, justice, and moral uprightness. These qualities align harmoniously with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, underscoring the significance of treating others as we wish to be treated. When we embody these virtues, we create an atmosphere of goodness and righteousness around us, attracting blessings and fostering meaningful connections with others.
Dear friends in Christ, the connection between these passages reveals a profound truth: by treating others with love, respect, and fairness, we cultivate an environment where God’s blessings can flourish. It is not merely about external actions but also about nurturing a genuine heart of care and empathy for others. As we embrace the golden rule and follow the teachings of Christ, we become instruments of divine love, transforming the world around us. Let us, therefore, reflect on the wisdom found in these scriptures and strive to live by the golden rule in our daily lives. May we be inspired by the selflessness of Abraham, who placed the well-being of others before his own desires, and let us embody the virtues outlined in Psalm 14(15):2-5, and live by the golden rule as taught by Christ. By doing so, we contribute to a world filled with compassion, harmony, and blessings for all.
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© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo.
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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?