A family brought in two cocoons that were about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in one end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about ten minutes following its agonizing emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings. The family decided to help the second butterfly so that it would not have to go through such an excruciating ordeal. So, as it began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a Caesarean section. The second butterfly never did sprout wings, and in about ten minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died. The family asked a biologist friend to explain what had happened. The scientist said that the difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushes liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into tiny capillaries in the wings where they hardened to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly. The lesson? WITHOUT THE STRUGGLE, THERE ARE NO WINGS.
In today’s Gospel lesson, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to love our enemies, do good, and be merciful, just as our Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36) What response do we offer in our day-to-day journey as Christians? Are we willing to struggle to love our enemies and show them mercy? If so, we join God’s Heavenly Hosts, and through His grace, we reach the heights of His Kingdom with the spiritual wings we will have grown in the process. Glory to God!