Sunday 19 February 2023
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18. The Lord is kind and merciful – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 8, 10, 12-13. 1 Corinthians 3:16-23. Matthew 5:38-48.
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
This is tough stuff. It is the behaviour of saints and martyrs and seems far beyond ordinary people. Yet it lines up with the self-help books and the tips for living a peaceful and centred life.
To be consumed by recriminations against those who have wronged me is to be unable to live peacefully in the present moment. It shackles, drains energy, promotes a cynical approach to life events.
Some people who have survived torture and the loss of loved ones to violence can still come across as peaceful, focused, outward looking and able to contribute positively to the community. Holocaust survivor guides make a powerful impact on visitors to the Sydney Jewish museum for this very reason.
Wounds may be only partly healed, losses remain raw, but I can choose life and act in a way that allows me to live peacefully in the present moment, responding lovingly to others.