Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Of Mt - 5:38-48

Jesus  Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
 Christ Pantocrator in the Cefalù Cathedral. All rights reserved.An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

The radical nature of Jesus's moral message is in vivid relief in Sunday's Gospel.  Jesus takes the moderation and good sense of Jewish moral practice - and he expands it beyond normal human understanding.  The Jewish moral law did not say eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth as a command of vengeance, but rather as a curb on the natural human desire for revenge.  If someone blinds my child in one eye, I may want to kill them for it!  The Jewish Law called for moderation in justice.

Jesus commands his followers to respond to violence with peace, and to respond to hate with love.  He commands the total conversion of the heart and soul. He commands perfection in the divine image of the Father.  It's a bracing message for those of us used to thinking of justice in terms of punishment.  Although the Church is not pacifist in its moral teaching, the example of Christ himself and untold saints and martyrs throughout history shows us that the height of Christian discipleship is sacrificial love.  Jesus asks us to follow him, and promises us it will be more fulfilling and joyful than the way of the world.  Scott Salvato, Director of Campus Ministries - Molloy College

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter The Apostle
The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass.


Christ Pantocrator in the Cefalù Cathedral. All rights reserved.

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