THE PASSAGE FROM MATTHEW’S GOSPEL is part of his account of the Sermon on the Mount, the great cornerstone of Christ’s teaching and theology. In verse 12, Christ instructs us “…whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” With this statement, the Sermon on the Mount reaches its highest point. The Rev. William Barclay of Trinity College, Glasgow, wrote in his analysis of Matthew, published in 1956: “This saying is the topmost peak of social ethics, and the Everest of all ethical teaching.”
And here we are, near the beginning of Lent, reminded of this scripture which surely all of us heard for the first time years ago, and have heard countless times since. How appropriate to have this teaching of Christ included in our Lenten journey. As we experience this period of self-reflection, let us all keep in mind as fellow human beings, fellow New Yorkers, and fellow Church of the Ascension parishioners, what Christ is commanding us to do with these words.