Dear Brothers and Sisters, Glory to Jesus Christ!
Today, in St. Luke’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus is teaching His disciples, and us, about the virtues. St. John Chrysostom says that God implanted in all human beings a natural law which enables us to distinguish between what is virtue and what is vice, what is good and what is bad. Of course, we acknowledge that the holier a person is, the clearer the distinction is, and the more sinful a person is, the murkier the distinction becomes. The gift of God is weakened by sin, but it is strengthened by virtue. That being said, this precious gift of discernment, this still, small voice of God in the conscience, tells us (if we can hear it!) that if we expect other people to treat us well, that we should first treat them well. Again, St. John Chrysostom says, “It is manifest then that Christ has commanded nothing that is impossible for you to do, especially that which He had long before implanted in your conscience, so that your own will is the law to you. And if you want to have good done to you, you must do good to others; if you want others to show mercy to you, you must show mercy to your neighbor.”
The words make it sound easy, but the Lord Jesus shows us that it’s not as easy as it sounds. He says, “For if you love those that love you, what credit is that you? Even the worst sinners love those that love them. And if you only do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that you? for even the worst sinners do that!”( Collapse )