Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE! 

Pretty challenging stuff from Jesus to his disciples of yesterday and to us, his disciples of today…

“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.”

And what is our response?  Jesus doesn’t really mean it… It’s only a suggestion?  I can’t do those things Jesus asks…

Well, Jesus did mean it and the proof was the life he led.

Last month, in his January 10, 2019 Daily Mass Homily, Pope Francis shared a few things that sounded like Jesus from today’s Gospel.

In his Homily, Pope Francis identified three signs of behavior that can help us discern our capacity to LOVE others and God:

  1. Our willingness to pray for our neighbors, including those we do not like.
  1. To refrain from “feelings of Jealousy and envy.”
  1. And above all to “avoid gossip”…(judging).

Speaking of praying for others, for those we do not like, for our enemies… the story is told about a High School Sophomore, who had a teacher that some of the students did not like.  When the student complained to their mother, she told the student that they were to pray for the teacher.  When the student repeated their grumbling a few days later, the mother asked if they were praying for the teacher.  To which the student replied, “yes” …and continued… “It is nearly impossible, but yes, I am praying for my teacher… to have a happy death before the end of the semester.”  With a well-controlled facial expression the mother told the student that was not exactly what she had meant.

When Jesus… when the Pope reminds us to love our enemies… to pray for one another, including our enemies… to do good for them…  to stop judging, to stop condemning, to forgive…

They are reminding us that this is the life that people of faith are meant to LIVE and not just talk about…

The beginning of Lent is only 10 days away… And for many people Lent is like New Year’s Resolutions… Why waste time on anything…I’ll eventually fail.

I would like to suggest today that the challenge of today’s Gospel might well be for a Lenten focus this year to consider one, maybe more but one, of the areas that Jesus speaks about today for this  Lent 2019.

What one will each of us chose?  Maybe better said, what one should we chose?  To love our enemies… To pray for one another, including our enemies… To do good for them…  To stop judging, to stop condemning, to forgive…

Let this Lent be the time for renewing our Baptismal Promises to grow in love of God, love of others, and be faithful disciples of Jesus.