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Homily (Reflection) for Saturday of the First Week of Lent (20th February, 2016) on the Gospel

 

Deut 26:16-19;
Ps 118:1-2.4-5.7-8 (R. v. 1);
Matt 5:43-48.

Topic: Beyond the bus stop.
Often we find ourselves in the trap of consoling ourselves by enumerating those we think are worse than us. In today’s gospel however, we see the true standard, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48).

Jesus cautions us on how to relate with our enemies and persecutors. Like that of yesterday, today’s gospel insists that we must go yet another mile. Salvation lies beyond everyday’s stopping point. So whoever stops with others will certainly miss the target.

General expectation, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. But Christ demands this,

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matt 5: 44-45).

Sad enough, in reality we are still grappling with the love of neighbours and the gospel is calling on us to love our enemies and even pray for those who persecute us. Although many seem to be more comfortable with, “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21) yet Christ wants us for an extra mile. The big question is whether we are ready for the journey or comfortable with where you are? Any one we prefer has a price tag.

Bible Reading: Ex 23:1-9; Prov 24:17-22; 25:21-22; Rom 12:9-21.

Thought for today: Ready for all your enemies?

Let us pray: Lord, give us your grace to enable us be steadfast on your path till we come into your kingdom – Amen.

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