Tag Archives: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Every weekend when we come to church, we hear the word of the God in the Scripture Readings.  Readings that can encourage us…  Readings that can raise our consciousness… Readings that can teach us…  Readings that can challenge us.

This past Wednesday the first reading at Mass came from the Letter of St. James, where we heard, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

Lent is upon us, Ash Wednesday is this week, it’s on Wednesday in case anyone was wondering what day it is on.

Lent might well be a very appropriate time to put into action what we hear, what we know is good for us as a person, family, and community of faith.  People centered in God, in the Word of God…  People who are blessed not only because they hear the Word of God, but keep it.

I am sure each of us can come up with at least one area of our life, where we know we could be more faithful…

For instance, Jesus says today in our Gospel, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Jesus knows that love, love that is and of God is not easy.  It can be demanding, maybe unreasonable, and unfair.

What is often most challenging about today’s Gospel in not loving our enemies, but loving our annoying sister or bratty brother.

It is easy to love some nameless group of people we have little or nothing to do with.

What is hard is to love the people we live with and work with and go to school with.

To love our enemies is not just to declare a cease fire but to create and maintain an environment where reconciliation is always possible, where acceptance and welcome are assured even within our own families and households.

We have heard… We continue to hear… the Word of God shared with us every day… May we seize the opportunity of Lent 2020, to not only listen to and know the Word of God, but to live it.

To seize the opportunity of Lent 2020 to grow in being doers of the Word.

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.