Level 5 Gathering January 17
We had a look at the Golden Rule from 14 of the World’s Religions, using a poster created by a Canadian man, Paul McKenna. This poster comes from Scarboro Missions, a Catholic organization which promotes inter-religious dialogue.
We became aware of the fact that the Golden Rule is expressed differently yet the message is basically the same.
In everything do to others what you would have them do to you.
We talked about whether that was the same as “Do to others what they do to you”? Which of course, your very clever children knew immediately that it was not the same at all! When we treat others the way they treat us, we are simply reacting, we are not free. To treat others the way we would want to be treated, allows for something totally new and unexpected to come into existance. That is what forgiveness is, something totally unexpected and new!
We were able to see that the way the Golden Rule is expressed by the different religions, helps us to understand a little about those religions.
We learned that as human beings we all desire to do good, and in fact being good and doing good is what makes us most happy!
We learned that the root of the word religion comes from the latin word religare which means to bind. Religion binds us to God and to each other.
We also looked at how Jesus already knew the Golden Rule and took it even further by saying:
Luke 6: 27-36 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
That was something really unexpected and totally new! That is also something that is not easy to do. Which is one of the reasons Jesus offers himself to us as food, so eventually we can grow accustomed to forgive and love in such a radical way.
It is very important to understand that it does not mean that we just allow people to hurt us or abuse us. No! If anyone is hurting you or abusing you the most imortant thing is to get some help, to tell someone and to get out of that situation.
Jesus wants to bring us and everyone who listens into the Kingdom of God.The word obey comes from the root audire which means to listen deeply, to understand.
He is saying that we need to forgive, let go, not to seek revenge. His way is the way of peace, not of fighting, the way of forgiveness, and he feeds us with his very self, so that we can grow more and more peaceful, and loving. He is asking us to build the Kingdom of God on earth, and to live together in peace. The more we do the bigger God’s kingdom grows among us. We are not alone! You are not alone, we are a community, called Church, we are the body of Jesus, together.
You are wonderful!
Lucie J. McElligott