A Meditation on Ember Friday, Sept 2015
“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also unto them likewise.”
Part of this evening’s Gospel was probably immediately recognizable as Christ’s articulation of “The Golden Rule” – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is a principle that predates and transcends the Christian faith, and is sufficiently universal that a painting by Norman Rockwell bearing those words is displayed within the entrance to the United Nations building in New York. Among all the other rules and commandments, this one resonates across humanity as being just the right thing to do – even if we do not always do it.
When Christ replaced the Ten Commandments with the Two Great Commandments, the first was to love God, and the second was “to love our neighbour as ourself” In this evening’s Gospel, Christ tells us how we are to do that. It is not just reciprocity – doing good to them who do good to you. In fact, it quite specifically is not. That is really no more than a nicer take of the ancient code of justice “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Christ specifically rejects that elsewhere in the Scriptures. ...