Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time [a]

Engaging Faith | Sat, Feb 12, 2011

By John Bucki, S.J.

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time [a]

February 13, 2011



Sirach 15:15-20

1 Corinthians 2:6-10

Matthew 5:17-37 or 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37



February: African American History Month

February 11: World Day of the Sick (also feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)

February 14: Valentine’s Day

February 14 – 20: Random Acts of Kindness Week




Jesus proposed a new concept of living.  ….  The new spirit is to be gentle, generous, simple, and above all sincere. To avoid being arrogant, censorious, or self-seeking. The disciples of the new Kingdom must seek happiness even amidst poverty, deprivation, tears and oppression. To aim for the Kingdom requires a radical change in outlook, in mentality, in behavior, in relations with others. Just as the Law revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, so, in this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, the new Lawgiver, offers to all mankind a new way of life, a charter of Christian life.

Homily of Pope John Paul II, Glasgow, 1 June 1982


The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace, because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom, because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity and, finally, lets us pass from the condition of a servant who "does not know what his master is doing" to that of a friend of Christ.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1972


Christian love of neighbor and justice cannot be separated. For love implies an absolute demand for justice, namely a recognition of the dignity and rights of one's neighbor.

Bishops’ Synod, Justice in the World, #34


Let recognition be given to the fact that international order is rooted in the inalienable rights and dignity of the human being.

Bishops’ Synod, Justice in the World, #63


The vision of Christian non-violence is not passive about injustice and the defense of the rights of others; it rather affirms and exemplifies what it means to resist injustice through non-violent methods.

US Bishops, The Challenge of Peace, #116


Thoughts for your consideration


Jesus offers us an invitation to live by the highest moral standards.

Jesus invites us to go beyond the laws and prohibitions to something deeper.

Jesus invites us to enter into a profound respect for our sisters and brothers.

Jesus invites us to move beyond the law into love.

Jesus invites us to be in community with one another.


The gospel today is not just about personal moral behavior.

It is about how we live together and work together as a community.

It is about how we live together as nations, as ethic groups, as corporations, as institutions, as people doing things together.


The gospel today invites us to treat one another with care and respect.

No person must be treated as an object whether it is a sex object or a marketing object or a tool in a corporate plan for profits.


The gospel today invites us to active nonviolence.

We are called to put an end to the ways of war and violence.

We are not called to be passive in the face of injustice and evil

We are called to be active and to respond in love and respect for the other.


The gospel today is about engaging in the work of reconciliation.

This means taking the time to listen to one another.

This means making the effort to understand others.

This means forgiving others and ourselves.

This means working at the difficult challenge of community.


Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group


Jesus talks about reconciliation with our sisters and brothers before we offer our gift at the altar. What does this mean for your local church community?

What does this mean for you?

What does this mean for your nation?




Jesus brings up looking at other people with lust.

How does this apply to our lives?

What do we do in our culture to stop making people into objects of lust?

What do we need to do in our society and in our media to show more respect to people?




Jesus challenges us with a call to non-violence and respect for one another.

What can we do to put an end to the violence in our society?

Will control of guns do it?

Is some other change also needed?

What can we do to put an end to all the violence between groups and nations on the international level?

            Will disarmament solve the problem?

            Do we have to get out of the business of selling weapons to other nations?

            Is some other transformation of relationships being called for?



Actions – Links


The 14th Annual Gandhi King Chavez Season for Nonviolence January 30 - April 4, 2011


The Institute for Peace and Justice is “an independent, interfaith, not-for-profit organization that creates resources, provides learning experiences, and advocates publically for alternatives to violence and injustice at the individual, family, community, institutional and global levels.”



“Crazy Facts”


According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, more than a million people have been killed with guns in the United States since 1968. …  Excluding the people killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more than 150,000 Americans have been murdered since the beginning of the 21st century.”


For a poster of mass shootings committed with large capacity magazines go to:



106 Journalists Killed Worldwide in 2010: “The Swiss-based Press Emblem Campaign is reporting at least 106 journalists were killed overall in 2010. Fourteen journalists were killed in both Mexico and Pakistan, 10 in Honduras. Eight journalists were killed in Iraq, six in the Philippines, five in Russia, four in Colombia, Brazil and Nigeria.”



Prayers of Intercession

Response: Blessed are they who follow the law of God.

For an end to the violence and murder that so dominate our world, we pray….

For an end to the sale and distribution of so many weapons of violence and destruction, we pray…

For an end to putting profits before a caring respect for people, we pray…

For an end to that greed and lust that treats people as objects for our selfish desires, we pray…

For a spirit of understanding and respect among all people and nations, we pray…

For a deep commitment to the way of active nonviolence, we pray….

For a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness in all of our relationships, we pray….

For the grace to forgive, we pray….



Prayer - Meditation



God of all,

as we walk together,

Open our hearts

To your tenderness.

Open our minds

To your understanding.

Open our lives

To your challenge.

We are one people, many nations,

Building hope through steps for peace.

One world with many barriers,

Breaking chains so we dance free.

One voice that shouts for justice

Shatters hatred, calls for change.

One God, one world, one people,

Turning tables, share the feast.


Linda Jones/CAFOD


Find other prayer resources on conflict and peace at