For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022419.cfm
“Now, listen because I’m only going to say this once.” Growing up with four brothers and two sisters, these words were frequently on my mother’s lips. I was reminded of them when I read the opening words of our Gospel today. “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘To you who hear, I say,’”
In our Gospel for this Sunday Jesus tells his disciples that they are to live and act in ways that set them apart from others. Jesus tells his disciples: “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you………. Give to everyone who asks of you…………Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful……….. Stop judging and you will not be judged……….. Give and gifts will be given to you.”
Jesus’ words remind us clearly that for his followers God is the standard for our words and actions. We are called to treat others as God has treated us, by loving and caring for them, being merciful and by not judging. Certainly we don’t always do this. Yet Jesus is clear. As God has loved and cared for us, and shown us God’s mercy in so many ways, so we are called to do this for one another. This is not just a suggestion or a recommendation. It is a command given to all those who seek to follow Jesus Christ.
Our first reading this Sunday is from the first Book of Samuel. In the section we read today we heard, that King Saul, consumed by jealousy of David, was seeking to kill him. In a reversal, though, David has a chance to kill Saul. He refused to do it, though, thus demonstrating God’s mercy and compassion.
In our second reading this Sunday from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, Paul reminds us that “Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, (Adam) we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.” (Jesus)
Questions for reflection/discussion:
- Jesus told us to “love our enemies and do good to those who hate us.” Why do we find this so difficult?
- Jesus also said: “Give and gifts will be given to you.” When have you experienced this in your life?
- Where have you seen others bearing the “image” of the heavenly one? (Jesus Christ)