But, he calls us to be like him ... What are you doing that's 'above and beyond?'
What do you do that’s extraordinary?
The Pope asked this pointed question on Sunday as he reflected on the “demanding words” Jesus addresses to us in the Gospel.
“We try to have everything more or less in order and under control, so as to correspond to our expectations, to our measure,” the Pope said, afraid to “expose ourselves too much and then be disappointed, we prefer to love only those who love us in order to avoid disappointments, to do good only to those who are good to us, to be generous only to those who can return a favur; and to those who treat us badly, we respond in kind, so that we are even.”
But Jesus says, “That is not enough!”
The Pope said that such behavior isn’t Christian. And, he remarked, “If God were to follow this logic, we would have no hope of salvation!”
But, fortunately for us, God’s love is always “extraordinary,” it goes beyond the usual criteria by which we humans live out our relationships.
While we always try to “balance the books,” Pope Francis said, “Christ encourages us to live the unbalance of love.”
Jesus is not a good book-keeper, no! He always leads us to the imbalance of love. We should not be surprised at this. If God had not “unbalanced” himself, we would never have been saved: It was the imbalance of the cross that saved us! Jesus would not have come to seek us out when we were lost and distant; he would not have loved us up to the end, he would not have embraced the cross for us, who did not deserve all this and could not give him anything in return.
“Brothers and sisters,” the Pope said:
God’s love is a love always in excess, always beyond calculation, always disproportionate. And today he also asks us to live in this way, because only in this way will we truly bear witness to him.
He invites us not to respond to evil with evil, to dare to do good, to risk in the gift, even if we receive little or nothing in return. For it is this love that slowly transforms conflicts, shortens distances, overcomes enmities and heals the wounds of hatred. And so, we can ask ourselves, each one of us: do I, in my life, follow the logic of recompense, or that of gratuitousness, as God does? The extraordinary love of Christ is not easy, but it is possible; it is possible because He Himself helps us by giving us His Spirit, His love without measure.
Let us pray to Our Lady, who by answering “yes” to God without calculation, allowed him to make her the masterpiece of his Grace.