SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME FEBRUARY 24, 2019


Mass Readings:

A reading from the Gospel of Luke 6: 23-38 Jesus said to his disciples:

“To you who hear I say,

love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

To the person who strikes you on one cheek,

offer the other one as well,

and from the person who takes your cloak,

do not withhold even your tunic.

Give to everyone who asks of you,

and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

For if you love those who love you,

what credit is that to you?

Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who do good to you,

what credit is that to you?

Even sinners do the same.

If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,

what credit is that to you?

Even sinners lend to sinners,

and get back the same amount.

But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,

and lend expecting nothing back;

then your reward will be great

and you will be children of the Most High,

for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.

Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.

Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Give, and gifts will be given to you;

a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,

will be poured into your lap.

For the measure with which you measure

will in return be measured out to you.”

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REFLECTION: Forgive, and you will be forgiven. What a difficult Gospel to live today - straight from the mouth of God, we are commanded to love, bless, pray, give, forgive, be kind and merciful in the most difficult of circumstances, to the most difficult people!

We have all been in these situations, and perhaps some of us are still working on how to forgive someone who is or has been part of our life.

Through one experience of forgiveness which took me many years to arrive at, I learned that God is good, He wills not only what is good for our neighbors, but also what is good for each one of us personally. When He implores us to forgive, it is especially for our own good. It is for our healing.

Any counselling professional will tell you that healing often begins with acknowledging that a wrong has taken place to us, it is important to name it because it does not have to be a part of us or what we carry. Once we name a problem, then we can address it. In a similar way, a doctor would be able to lance and drain an abscess only if the patient presents himself to be treated, identifies the problem so that the doctor can cut open the abscess and allow the pus to drain so healing can begin to take place. Sure, this is a very painful and scary process, but the suffering results in the restoration of health.

Loving, blessing, praying, giving, forgiving, kindness and mercy are the blood transfusions, the transfusion of life to others who need it most - if they choose to receive it - because those who have hurt us kill in themselves a little or a lot of their own life.

Forgiving others is the knife that lances the abscesses that accumulate in our mind, soul and heart. With God as the physician, we can be confident that our healing will one day be complete.


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