Reflection for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul
 In today’s Gospel we have a list of ‘behaviors’ that Jesus expects of us—but they seem nearly impossible. Read them slowly as if you are hearing them for the first time, so you can understand how this sermon of Jesus must have sounded to the early followers of Jesus in Palestine:
Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other.
When someone steals your sweater, offer her your coat.
And there is more.
Give to everyone who asks something of you. (Everyone?)
And when people take what is yours, let them keep it. (No questions asked.)
Love your enemies.
When they ask to borrow something, give it to them.  (Knowing you may never get it back.)
Doesn’t this seem like enough? It’s not. Jesus goes on to say,
Be merciful. (Not just fair, but merciful.)
Don’t judge the sinner. (How can we not do that?)
Don’t condemn the wrongdoer.
As a matter of fact, just keep giving.
This is almost word for word from Luke’s Gospel, 6:27-38, who is quoting Jesus directly. Why would He ask us to do something as impossible as all this?
In the Second Reading, to the Philippians, St. Paul explains why: we are made in the Image of God. We don’t have all His powers, but our souls are the mirror of His soul. We are meant to reflect His goodness to others, without counting the cost.
When Jesus explains what the Image of God looks like, it can be daunting.  But we have the seeds of these virtues in our souls by our Baptism. Now, that’s enough.
God does not ask the impossible of us. He asks the beautiful.
God bless you.
“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

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