The Golden Rule

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)

Jesus was not the first to instruct us on the Golden Rule, as it became known in the eighteenth century. The rule dates back to the early part of the second century B.C.: “Do to no one what you yourself hate” (Tobit 4:15) and “Recognize that your neighbor feels as you do, and keep in mind everything you dislike.” (Sirach 31:15). Jesus, unlike Tobit and Sirach, gives the rule a positive connotation.

Christ is all about love. When we have love, we have a treasure like no other; a stone described by St. Gregory of Nyssa as a “pearl of the heart”, which contains Christ’s beauty. It is a stone we want to share with others and they want to share with us.

As we go about our day, let’s keep the Golden Rule in our hearts. If we do that means that Christ is within us too.

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

Temptations to Sin

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.” ~ Mark 9:43

In today’s Gospel (Mark 9:41-50), Jesus continues his conversation with the disciples; this time the teaching is about the temptations to sin and the drastic measure we must take to rid ourselves of it.

I am glad we don’t take this literately, because Jesus’ point is that we must work to get rid of any sin that has become like a hand, attached to us. He was referring not just to objects, those in themselves are harmless; He was referring to those we hold in our heart: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. These are the root of evil in the world. When we hold on to them in our hearts, they become our masters; providing us with the false sense of wealth. “Rely not on your wealth; say not: ‘I have the power.’ Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart. Say not: ‘Who can prevail against me?’ or, ‘Who will subdue me for my deeds? for God will surely exact the punishment.’ ” (Sirach 5:1-3)

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.