(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, February 19, 2017)
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Young people need challenges in order to grow.
All three of today's Sunday readings shout out to us that challenge. God, speaking through Moses, says to the whole house of Israel, "Be holy, for I the Lord, your God, am holy." It's a call to love one's neighbour as oneself, and not to hold any kind of grudge, or ever to seek revenge.
In the Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that He has not come to destroy the Law that His Father laid down centuries before, but that He came on earth to fulfil that law. His new law and covenant will go even further. As we resume hearing the Sermon on the Mount this week, Jesus goes into detail. "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth".
Jesus' listeners must have scoffed at Jesus when He told them not only to love your neighbour, but to love your enemies as well! While that may have seemed absurd foolishness, we all know that keeping our distance and viewing our enemy as somehow subhuman, doesn't get us anywhere. However, treating him with compassion can often bring about reconciliation, and even turn our enemy into a friend.
How can we ever possibly get the grace and strength to follow all this advice? Today's second reading from St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians tells us how. First, he tells us that we are stronger and holier than we think. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" Incredible! Talk about bolstering our confidence in ourselves to become perfect! Then St. Paul tells us not to be worried if society thinks us fools for acting on Jesus' advice. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God. ..." When we act according to God's wisdom, then we belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God!
If we go for God's gold, then we can't lose. Not only will we grow instead of stagnating in complacency, but we'll land ourselves right into the joy of God's heaven!
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor