Friends, today’s Gospel passage is an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount. If we are to begin to understand Jesus’ staggering teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, we have to keep ever in our minds the little tagline: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus is the Son of God, and his purpose is not primarily to construct a smooth-functioning human society; it is to establish the kingdom of God—that is to say, a body formed by those who participate in him, who share his relationship with the Father.
What is the Father of Jesus Christ like? The Father of Jesus Christ is love, right through. That’s all God is; that’s all he knows how to do. He is not like us: unstable, changing, moving from one attitude to another. No, God simply is love.
Why should you go beyond simply loving those who love you? Because that’s the way God operates: he loves the saints and he also loves the worst sinner in hell. Now, is that easy to do? Of course not. But that’s what Jesus call us to: be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.