Last Friday, civic leaders and church pastors from the east and west side of Winter Park came together here at St. Margaret Mary in prayer and a spirit of unity to show solidarity as a community who desires change and an end racism. It didn't matter whatever differences various denominations or leaders may have had among themselves. This special gathering was clearly motivated by love, respect and a desire for the betterment of our whole community.
That assembly was surely an example of the ‘golden rule’ we heard in our gospel today: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In that spirit and following the witness of the community pastors and leaders who met last week, I'd like to share with you how 6 other world religions briefly express this same 'golden rule' in their own traditions. These quotes are taken from their sacred writings and leaders and show that this desire to do good for others is imbedded deeply in all of us and should be our guiding practice and principle in life.
- Judaism: What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. This is the law: all the rest is commentary. (Talmad, Shabbat 31a)
- Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. (Udana-Varga 5:18)
- Islam: No one is a believer until you desire for another that which you would desire for yourself. (Qu’ran Surah 59, “Exile”, v. 9)
- Bahai: Blessed are those who prefer others before themselves. (Tablets of Baha u llah, 71)
- Jainism: He who desires his own good, should avoid causing any harm to a living being. (Suman Suttam, v. 151)
- Sikhism: Don’t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone. (Guru Arjan Devji 259)
These quotes all are similar to Jesus’ ‘golden rule’, but Jesus’ is unique in that he puts emphasis on people acting to help one another for the benefit of the other.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is challenging. It requires us to do something. Jesus is asking us to go out of our way to treat people with the care and concern that we would like to receive, especially the people whom we find difficult and challenging.
Today, is there someone we know who needs a loving gesture or a kind act… someone who needs to be treated the way we would want to be treated? After all, who does not want to be treated with love?”
Reference for quotes: