The Golden Rule

Matthew 7: 7-12
Est C: 12. 14-16. 23-25/ Ps 138: 1-3, 7-8

Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12)

Whatever we seek in prayer,
We are confident we shall find;
Jesus said, trust God our Father,
What we give we’ll receive in kind.

Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake if he asks for a fish? If you then, being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give what is good to those who ask Him! Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:7-12)

Reflection

Our Lord Jesus is saying that, if we are kind and generous to others as we are to our own children, then we can expect God to give us what we seek and ask for. God always hears and answers the prayers of those who reflect His kindness and practice the Golden Rule. Or He will give something even better. St. John enunciated this when he wrote that “We receive from God whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him” (1 Jn. 3:22).

Bro. Rey always practiced the Golden Rule in his dealings with others. Kindness is inherent in his nature. But one’s kindness can also be abused by those to whom it is given. When the Department of Agrarian Reform included his 5 hectare farm in its Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), Rey’s tenant demanded a share of 1.5 hectares, or P750,000 cash settlement. This he considered unfair, as his tenant had lived off his land for so long without giving Bro. Rey any substantial share of the crops. But the DAR being always on the side of tenant-farmers, Bro. Rey could not find any solution to prevent his small farm from being further reduced. He was willing to pay P450,000, a very substantial amount for the poor family of his tenant, but the latter refused to settle for the lesser amount. Call it karma, but not long after, the tenant figured in a motor accident. The farmer was killed and his son hospitalized. The wife of the tenant was left with no choice but to accept Bro. Rey’s kind offer.

In the case of that tenant, there are times when God will not give what is being prayed for. St. James tells us why: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (Ja 4:3)

Lord, You always know what is best for us. Remind us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, as Jesus taught us, with the assurance that all other things will be given us besides” (Mt. 6:33). Amen.

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