Saturday, February 18, 2017
7th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
February 19, 2017 - 7th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Lv 19:1 - 2, 17-18 / 1 Cor 3:16 - 23 / Mt 5:38 - 48
FROM THE 1ST READING: Lv 19: 18
Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.
FROM THE 2ND READING: 1 Cor 3: 18b- 19a
If anyone of you considers himself wise in the ways of the world, let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's eyes.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mt 5: 38- 40, 43- 48
Jesus said to his disciples, "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you this: do not oppose evil with evil; if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn and offer the other. If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give your coat as well. ...
"You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy But this I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.
"If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? For your part you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect"
Our Lord offers us something illogical in today's readings, something irrational and unusual. He mentions that we must not strike back, that we must love our enemies and that we must be perfect. Jesus is speaking for an upside down world, to go against the elementary logic of "an eye for an eye."
The Lord offers us a new mathematics where we do not equate wrongs done to us with wrongs we can easily do in return. We are asked to forego our knowledge of such an equation, and equate evils, distresses, wrongs and sins done to us with the forgiveness, kindness and goodness we can return. We are asked to repay evil with Christian justice, mercy and love. Why does the Lord reject what seems to be a perfectly logical equation of "a tooth for a tooth."
It is because the Lord is who he is: our Lord is perfect. It is the perfection where things are whole and complete. And by the same temper that he is perfect, he invites us to the same perfection, to being whole ourselves.
When we are whole, we do not feel that we are any less a person because of the injustice of others. When we are whole, we are secure with our identity and others' gossip will not make us think of ourselves any less. When we are whole, we are assured that things will fall in their proper place and that God has a plan worked out for everything.
When the Lord invites us to perfection, he does not expect us to be without mistakes and even to be without sin. He reminds us, rather, that we be whole, so much so that we be forgiving when it is easier to take revenge, that we be generous even if it may be easier to be rude, that we be loving when it is easier to let hatred and bitterness rule our hearts.
The invitation for perfection and wholeness leads to our capacity to turn the other cheek, to give the second tunic and to run the extra mile. And lest we forget, we have to remind ourselves that it is by and through grace that we reach this wholeness. With God's grace we arrive at this point of assurance, security and wholeness that the seeming irrationality of Jesus' invitation is overcome by the boundless forgiveness, kindness and goodness of God.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
ELVIN KENNEDY H. LATAYAN
LUIS P. SAYO
VICENTE T. CO CHIEN JR.
PROVIDENCE HEALTHCARE CONSULTANTS, INC.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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