Scripture Reflection . . .
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Sirach 15:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119 “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.’ ” This Sunday’s Gospel strongly encourages us to go deeper, to look at the bigger picture, to let the Spirit lead where the “law” ends; to let love lead rather than fear. It is not enough to not kill another physically; not to “kill” another emotionally with anger takes it deeper. Always consistent, Jesus’s message here is about love. Love is the fulfillment of the law; love is where the Spirit leads. Paul in his Letter to the Corinthians speaks of a wisdom that is “not of this age” but rather the wisdom of God that is revealed by the Spirit. Again, this wisdom is love. And love will always choose life (see Sirach 15).
When we know and believe we are loved unconditionally we grow into a freedom where we can be authentically ourselves and able to love beyond the boundaries of the law; our “yes” will mean “yes” and our “no” will mean “no.”
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .
This week has been a simple ordinary week other than a brief snow storm that caused the cancellation of a couple planned events. We are reminded how quickly plans can change and how little control we have.
However, even ordinary days are filled with opportunities to listen to the Spirit leading us to love.
February 8th was the annual Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. As a Congregation, we seek to raise awareness of the terrible reality of human trafficking. The following is from the Catholic Health Association:
In solidarity with those who have suffered as victims of human trafficking, we pray …
God, we ask your blessing on every victim of human trafficking. We know you bear their fear, their hurt and their pain.
May they feel your loving presence wash over them. May justice to be served.
May these women, men and children be released from the anguish they suffer.
As the people of Catholic health ministry, make us instruments of love and compassion — seeking out, serving and helping to heal those who are victims of human trafficking. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Our Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteer led a prayer with a Valentine’s Day theme reflecting on the necessity of believing you are loved in order to have love for others.
At the end of the week we celebrated a co-worker’s birthday and a Sister’s feastday with the timeless tradition of a coffee break and a blessing. These are simple signs of love.
The sight of seedlings emerging from soil in the greenhouse is a fitting metaphor for the power of love to encourage new life and growth.
February 11th marked World Day of the Sick on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. This day is particularly significant for us with our health care ministry. And it is the Feastday of our Sister Kim! Our charism calls us to see Christ in those who are sick or suffering in any way. Sr. Kim’s Pastoral Care ministry calls her to bring spiritual care to several patients each day.
In Your Life . . .
“Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all of my heart” Psalm 119.
Spiritually, discernment is about listening to the movement of the Spirit. Often the Spirit is connected with a deep sense of peace, joy, and/or freedom. Some may call it inner clarity.
The two words, discernment and law, may seem a stark contrast until we remember that God’s law is about love, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Perhaps the Readings today invite you to notice what moves you to have greater freedom to love. When do you experience a deep peace that moves you to reach out with love and compassion?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Blessings on your week!