Lectionary Reflections: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time [a] February 19, 2017

Engaging Faith | Fri, Feb 10, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time [a]

February 19, 2017


Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Matthew 5:38-48



February 20: Presidents' Day in the United States

February 20: World Day of Social Justice 

February 21: International Mother Language Day 

March 1: Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent



We are called to be instruments of God, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.

-Pope Francis, Laudato Sí, 53

Every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged. 

-Pope Francis, Laudato Sí, 93

Wars shatter so many lives. I think especially of children robbed of their childhood.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, 18 January 2014

Peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated by good.

-Pope John Paul II, 1 January 2005

It is to be hoped that hatred and violence will not triumph in people's hearts, especially among those who are struggling for justice, and that all people will grow in the spirit of peace and forgiveness.

-Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 27

Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice. Justice will never be fully attained unless people see in the poor person, who is asking for help in order to survive, not an annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity for showing kindness and a chance for greater enrichment. Only such an awareness can give the courage needed to face the risk and the change involved in every authentic attempt to come to the aid of another. It is not merely a matter of "giving from one's surplus", but of helping entire peoples which are presently excluded or marginalized to enter into the sphere of economic and human development. For this to happen, it is not enough to draw on the surplus goods which in fact our world abundantly produces; it requires above all a change of life-styles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which today govern societies.

-Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 58

May nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms.

-Pope Francis, Message for World Day of Prayer for Peace, 1 January 2017


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Jesus said to his disciples:

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. 

This is crazy.  This makes no sense to people living in the competitive, success driven, consumer culture of the United States.  This makes no sense if we must be “number one.”  It makes no sense if our central value is “me first” or “America First.” This makes no sense if we need to defend ourselves from other armies and enemies.

Jesus proclaimed a radical message about God’s love for all of us. Jesus offered a radical invitation to love one another without condition – to love those who are different than ourselves, to love even our enemies.  In a world with many examples of hatred, violence, war, and unnecessary death, Jesus appears with the radical call for us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to trust in the way of peace, to be especially concerned for those most in need, and to take the risk to welcome those who are refugees or homeless.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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