As Christians, we worship a God who loves us so much that
he became human for our sake and went the extra mile of
love, dying an excruciating and humiliating death on a
cross. Paul reassures us in the second reading that, as we are
human and in the likeness of Adam – complete with sin – so
we will also take on the likeness of Jesus, the heavenly one.
That’s a reassuring thought when we read the Gospel, in
which Jesus describes what he expects from those who follow him.
We are called to see with God’s eyes – to see our
enemies as brothers or sisters and to love them. We are to
return good to those who mistreat us.
In the first reading, we get a glimpse of God’s ability to
transform people. David, even though he knows that Saul
plans to kill him, spares Saul when he has the chance to do
harm instead. His reverence for God’s anointing of Saul is
what stays his hand. David chooses the higher ground that,
centuries later, would be taught by his descendant and Lord,
Often, we fall short of the standards Jesus set for us, but
other times we might come close, as David did in the first
reading. Could we take time out of a busy day to listen to a
friend who needs to talk, or give up a free day to volunteer
at a place of need? Do we call on reserves of patience to
listen quietly when an angry friend or colleague complains
Because we are human, we might not live out these expectations
consistently, but if we stay close to Jesus in prayer,
we can trust that he is transforming us, step by step, into his
image. As Lent approaches, take advantage of this special
season to spend more time with Jesus and more time serving others,
allowing him to transform you.