The Word This Week ~ 23 Feb 2014
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First reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
One of the most challenging sentences in the book of Leviticus is found here: “You must love your neighbour as yourself”. While anger, bitterness and hatred may cause us to bear grudges, as disciples we are to reveal the compassion and love of Christ to everyone in the community. “Be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy”. To be a follower of Christ is to live as a person of love.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The temple in Jerusalem stood as the visible sign God’s presence in the world. St Paul writes to explain to the people that God is present in the community of believers rather than in a particular building. Each of us are members of the church of God and not just individual Christian leaders such as Paul, Apollos and Cephas because “you belong to Christ and Christ
belongs to God”.
Gospel: Matthew: 5:38-48
Today, Jesus challenges his disciples. When they are hurt or betrayed they are to turn the other cheek. Jesus begins with the ancient law described in Leviticus but he goes far beyond it. Jesus not only asks his disciples to love their neighbour but to love their enemies. This is to remove all of the restrictions of old law regarding love. Nobody should be excluded from Christian love. Those who follow Jesus are to be generous in sharing the gift of love, inspired by the example of the Father who “causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good”. To be perfect like Jesus, this is the example that we show in our own communities.
Published Fri 21st Feb 2014 14:04:27