SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Being nice to people who are nice to us is nothing out of the ordinary in God’s eyes. We are called to do much more. Sometimes the sayings of Jesus need a bit of an explanation to understand them fully. Others are all too clear – and challenging. This is the case with the passage from the Sermon on the Mount we hear today. It’s plain what Jesus means when he tells us to turn the other cheek and to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The problem is that we have a hard time believing he really means it. Does he really expect us not to react in kind to those who are mean and nasty to us – sometimes for no reason at all? Well, yes, he does. And he proves it by acting on his own words. In his Passion he turns the other cheek. On the Cross, he prays for his Father to forgive those persecuting him. To be good and kind to those who are good and kind to us is only natural. But “only natural” is not good enough for the friends of Jesus. We must be truly “supernatural,” using the gifts Jesus gives us in Word and Sacrament to help us love even those who do not love us – to be perfect just like our heavenly Father who loves both us and those we find it hard to love.
Parish Question for Reflection:
How ready am I to turn the other cheek and to forgive those who have hurt my feelings? Are there any “persecutors” in my life for whom I should be praying?
May we always be more ready to forgive than to take offense in our relationships with others in our parish family.