June 16, 2020

If you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:46-48)

Matthew presents Jesus as the new Lawgiver: as Moses gave the ten commandments to God’s people as the way of holiness and fidelity, Jesus urges his disciples to imitate the heavenly Father in the perfection of love. Loving the lovable, being considerate to those whose actions invite love, giving to those who can repay us; Jesus tells us that there is nothing extraordinary in living in this way, even non-believers do it! He calls his followers to something higher.

It is in God’s nature to love universally. But is it in ours? It can be, over time, with hard work and effort on our part, and with the assistance of grace. Experiencing perfect love creates the possibility that one so loved can change and begin to love more perfectly.

The Eucharist is a great help in this. We pray before every Communion, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.” Realizing that we take within ourselves Christ sacramentally disposes us to love. He loves us despite our weakness and our sin. Saint Peter Julian Eymard taught that having received much, we must give much in return and pursue the path of perfect love.

Who in my life most needs love today?

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, you showed perfect love, like that of the Father, in dying for us on the cross. Help me to love others more freely and generously. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.