February 23, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5:38-48

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 say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles. 
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Reflection (Sem. Randy Buquis):

     The Gospel today presents us different principles and teachings that deals on one thing – love.   If we will try to recall the greatest commandment of God it is love. In our class in moral theology we discussed the meaning of love given by a philosopher. For him, love is willing the good of the other. Love is the center of good and all the commandments.

     Jesus gave us some situations like “if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn and offer the others. If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile”. All of these teaches us to be compassionate, to have a willingness to deny ourselves and to fully become dependent on God.

     Jesus is inviting us to obey and to follow His law not externally but living it out in our heart. When we put the law of God in our hearts and minds it will gives us strength and will allow us to experience true freedom from the law.

     God is a perfect being and we are made in the likeness and image of Him, perfection is also possible for us. It’s just like “already but not yet”, we are perfect as the children of God who is perfect but not yet, because the call to perfection is a process and not an event, it is a journey. This is the challenge of the Gospel today – to strive for perfection through love, obedience, self-denial, and full dependence on God.

 

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