Gates and Golden Rules
The Gospel reading for today is a mix of popular aphorisms and clichés. Most recognizable is the “Golden Rule,” an important lesson which many of us learned during our childhood. However, have you ever considered what it means to “treat your neighbor as yourself?” What are the concrete actions that one must take to fulfill this commandment? Perhaps this is what Jesus means when he speaks of the narrow gate that leads to life and fulfillment. It’s easy for us to simply “be nice” or “get along” with others, and even easier to keep the status quo and succumb to making degrading and disparaging remarks. This, as the Gospel says, is the wide gate that leads to destruction. The Psalmist details various aspects of our relationships with others, such as these, that are often overlooked. For example, are we striving to uphold the dignity and affirm the innate worth of others when we speak ill of them in gossip, incite dissent, or give out of selfish ambition?
When was the last time we made a concerted effort to treat someone with love and respect, even when we don’t think they deserve it? As Jesus suggests, this lifestyle is not popular, nor does it come without challenge. However, our ultimate reward is everlasting life. Moreover, our temporal reward is the strengthening of our relationships and the fostering of community. This, ultimately, is the goal and meaning of life—that we live for and with others, and in doing so, journey with each other down the narrow road to eternity.
Editor's Note: This will be Eddie's last Student Daily Reflection, as he will be occupied with clinical rotations next year. Please keep him in your prayers as he finishes up his studies at Creighton and looks to pursue a pharmacy residency in 2012.