In the gospel, Jesus begins the saying on revenge by turning it on it head and speaking about the breath and scope of one’s giving in terms of offering no resistance to anyone, even those who are evil. Like the law of revenge which will only spiral out of control and go round and round, back and forth, destroying everything and one in its path, so too resistance. Both of these rules of the road in this world make the just person just like the evil person in participating in the revenge and resistance. Love supersedes both of these and are not a part of the reign of God.

The same is true with Jesus’ fine example of the breath and scope of the disciples’ love. Then at the very end of this chapter on the four saying which re=interpret the Law of Moses, the Torah, Jesus coknclues this part of the Sermon on the Mount, with the challenge to the perfection of God. Surely, Jesus knew well the saying of holiness of God in Leviticus, our first reading. His notion of perfection is meant to go even beyond holiness as a next step into perfection. Through holiness and perfection we orient ourselves and lives entirely to the will of God and God’s great goal for us, our “final cause” is to be one with God in heaven. We have no more note calling in life than just this.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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