VII Sunday of ordinary time

VII Sunday of ordinary time

Ven, 21 Feb 20 Lectio Divina - Anno A Lectio Divina

In the first reading of this Sunday’s liturgy in v.1, we read that God is speaking to Moses who is chosen by God to speak to the Israel community.

v.2 that God desires that the whole community of Israel should become holy as God is Holy. Israel’s fundamental calling was to be a ‘holy nation’ (Exodus 19-6). Jewish scholars have seen in the content of this chapter as the counterpart of the ten commandments.

v.17-18 says not to bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart and the focusing phrase of this reading is “love your neighbour as yourself” this is the greatest challenge. Most of the time there can be our own personal motivations behind our deeds, which means we don’t forget to love ourselves, as the human tendency we all like to be happy and satisfied in life; so, this commandment of God invites us to love our brothers and sisters.

 In the second reading St. Paul reminds us that we are the temple of God and the Spirit of God lives in us. To realize the presence of God, we need the deep faith in God, as we know that light and darkness cannot exist simultaneously; either light or darkness can exist, so when we fail to live according to God’s commandments, certainly the darkness invades our heart when we cannot find His presence in us our rapport with our brothers and sisters will be gridlocked. In the second part of the reading, we can note that the Corinthians were claiming that they belonged to particular leaders, St. Paul teaches us that the Church does not belong to itself and certainly doesn’t belong to any other human, but to Christ alone.

 This passage from the Gospel of Matthew presents about the concern of retaliation and love for enemies. v.37-38 a sort of conduct that Jesus recommends us is something contrast to our human logic and understanding.  An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. These words are part of the ancient law called the "law of retaliation" (cf. Ex 21,23-25). The law of retaliation is a heartless law: you to me and I to you. In this verse, Jesus begins to suggest a practical orientation that conforms to the love and mercy of God the Father. Jesus intends that we must not hoard hatred in our hearts because hatred attacks the supreme good of love. Love instead will grow accepting torments and humiliations. Even in these verses, which seem to close the concrete examples of Jesus, Jesus says not to rebel against those who have a claim not to keep hatred in the heart, not to get lost in thinking how to get rid of them. It is the goodness of the heart that will break the will of arrogance in us. V.43-45 He opposes instinctive hatred for love, and operating love that is expressed through concrete gestures: the hospitality offered to the stranger, the prayer for persecutors. It is enough to look around to verify that a gesture of peace is often much more effective than a conference on disarmament, that justice is not realized if not through charity, that patience is the strength of the non-violent. The heart must be hard against evil, but not against the persecutor before whom one must place oneself with the nobility conferred by the fortress of faith and love. V.46,47 the love that Jesus is talking about must go beyond what the Scribes and Pharisees say and do (cf. 5:20) and even tax collectors and pagans. Here we have the purpose of all this discourse: to be children of the Father. Our spirit must be modelled on his and our works must have that generous and inexhaustible perfume of love that flows only from him. v.48 The word "Perfect" is to be understood in the sense of accomplished in the exercise of love for our fellow men; love that embraces everyone and does not exclude anyone. Otherwise, it would be a simple virtue that leads to nothing. Whoever understood it in this way would contradict the whole content of the speech, which in fact comes to say that the resemblance to God in internal purity, love and holiness must be the continuous purpose of the Christian, in all the circumstances of his life. to be perfect "as your heavenly Father is perfect".

Our Lord places Heavenly Father before us as the model we must imitate, especially in our love, which must extend to all men, even to our enemies.

  Reflection

As much as we wish to have a comfortable life, at the same degree we need to make our brothers and sisters comfortable through our good words, attitude, and dealings with sincere love.

Are we aware of God’s presence in our hearts? How much attention do we give for the presence of God within us? If we are really aware of God’s presence do, we share His Love with our brothers and sisters especially with whom we live?

Do we exclude anybody from the love of God? Have we shared the fragrance of love to the people we met? As Christians have, we understood the type of love that Jesus teaches?