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Home / WRITINGS & HOMILIES OF ARCHBISHOP STYLIANOS / LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER (Lk 6:31-36; 2Cor 6:1-10)

LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER (Lk 6:31-36; 2Cor 6:1-10)

“The Lord said: as you would want others to do to

you, you also do unto others”

Sometimes, dear brothers and sisters, we believe

that the standard Christ gives us in

today’s Gospel passage is not very different to

what was stated in the Old Testament, which

was very much in accordance with human

logic. The Old Testament stated: “whatever you

do not wish, do not do to others” (Tob. 4:15). In

other words, what you do not want others to do

to you, do not do to them.

Yet, the difference between Christ’s words

today and the rule of the Old Testament, is as

wide as earth is from heaven. To avoid doing

the bad things that you would not accept others

doing to you, is not the measure of Christ.

It is not the law of Christ. It is not the love of

Christ. Christ overturns the laws of this

world. He overturns that which is familiar,

customary, established, and sheds light on it

to the point of transforming it. Christ is not

content with the idea of not doing those

things that we do not want others to do to us.

He goes far beyond that:

“Just as you would want others to do to

you, you also do to them likewise”. An astonishing

statement! An unsurpassable standard!

He asks: What do you want others to

do to you? To protect you? To accept you? To believe you?…

Whatever you wish that others would do for you, you also do for them.

But is this easy? Is it easy to satisfy the endless

desires that every human being has?

What is there that we would not want for

ourselves? We would even want others to

make us a king! Why not?

“As you would want others to do to you,

you also do unto others.” He does not give

commands from above, dictatorial commands

‘do this and do that!’ He does not

force you to do this, or not to do that. Nor

does He say to follow “what was said of old”

(cf. Matt. 5:21). What, then, does He ask?

You! You become the measure. You become

the source of truth. And when you

achieve this, you will then surpass that measure,

and you will go beyond the human.

You

will ask to be able to forgive your enemies,

and lend to those from whom you do not expect

anything to be returned. “Lend, hoping

for nothing in return”. If you lend to those

who will pay it back, or if you love those who

love you, or if you do good wherever it will

be recognized, what special grace is that?

“Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as

much back”.

This is the famous so-called ‘law of just returns’.

To do what others do to you. This

form of human rationale was done away

with by Christ. He did away with it on the

basis of love, on the basis of compassion. Be-

cause with normal logic, it would not be possible.

Such truth cannot stem from mere logic

which says: I will only give to you if you give

to me. A trade-off. Logic can only go so far. It

can bear no more.

Yet, the logic which is beyond logic or, if

you like, ‘illogical’, states: forgive your enemies.

And not only forgive, but love your enemies!

If they defame you, or mistreat you,

you do good and speak well in return. And

then you go beyond the human, and proceed

to the divine, in imitating God by grace, because

God is good and merciful. “Be merciful,

just as your Father is merciful”.

Mercy, then! And man is a creature constantly

in need of mercy.

One continually

needs to overlook, and to make concessions,

because people are creatures of much pain,

who often do not know what they themselves

want, or what is in their true interest.

Let us remember the Saints and the Holy

Mother of God, the symbol of obedience. The

symbol of embracing. The symbol of breadth.

There never was, nor will there ever be, a

broader soul, heart, intellect and love, than

the love of the Holy Mother. That is why we

call her ‘Broader than the Heavens’. I call

upon all of you her love and intercessions.

For all our community and all of humankind.

Amen.

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