Christian disciples are called to go the extra mile. Sure, it’s easy enough to love those who love you, and to do good to those who do good to you, and to give expecting reward. How many of us have people over for dinner because we know those same people will return the favor to us? How many of us have Christmas card lists that are basically reciprocation for those who send greetings to us? We have no problem loving and giving our best to those who do the same for us, but more is expected of disciples.
Disciples are expected to do the impossible: love our enemies, lend without expecting to be repaid, stop judging, stop condemning others, and to give with wild abandon. Paul’s letter to the Colossians underscores the measure that will be used to measure us:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And so our reflection today calls for us to reach out and go beyond ourselves. We have to step outside our comfort zone, reach higher, and give in the same way that God has given to us. That is how we will find true joy, as St. Paul also says. That is how we will reach our potential as true disciples.