Scripture Reflection . . .
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Samuel 26:2-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103 “The Lordvis kind and merciful.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We know this as the Golden Rule and probably learned it in our first year of school. Everybody knows the Golden Rule. Yet, how well do we actually believe it and live it?
Today’s Reflection will take the First Reading and the Gospel which have parallel messages and infuse it with a good dose of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. In the First Book of Samuel, David who is pursued by a jealous King Saul, is given an opportunity to end his fugitive status and the life of the King. However, he chooses to use this as a chance to show Saul how much he respects his life, “I would not harm the Lord’s anointed.”!
in Luke’s Gospel Jesus probably shocked those willing to listen to the way God sees things:
Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who mistreat you.
To the one who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other as well.
Gove even more to the one who takes from you.
Is such a world possible? St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians reflects on our human nature and the divine gift dwelling within us. We are created in the image and likeness of God. We are human; we also carry the spark of the divine, the Spirit of God. We are the Lord’s anointed! Unfortunately many of us didn’t grow up knowing or believing this. Even worse, many of us grew up thinking there was something wrong with us or we had to earn recognition, love, status . . .
This in turn has had a dire effects on our ability to love and accept others. We are called to a transformative journey to accept and believe that we ourselves are loved unconditionally – just for being ourselves. If we hold a deep belief in our sacredness than we believe each and every person is also God’s anointed!
I am reminded of a mystical experience of Thomas Merton, a well known Trappist monk:
“I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . .
“There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
“Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
Our Foundress, Blessed Alphonse Marie Eppinger was drawn to the cross at an early age. Her contemplative gaze upon the cross deeply effected her gaze upon the world and each person. She developed the grace to see Christ in each person and situation so there was no differention. All were God’s children; all worthy of care, respect, and dignity. She urged her Sisters to see Christ in each person and to this day we are called to follow this call. We have made promises to commit to contemplation, practice non-violence, reverence diversity and live merciful love and forgiveness. Yes we are human, but we believe we all carry the divine spark of God’s Spirit who makes all things possible.
In Your Life . . .
Lent begins next week. This is a sacred time of gazing at Jesus who pours out love and mercy to the point of total self gift. Perhaps you will feel called to let God gaze upon you with a love that can heal your wounds, show you the truth and beauty of who you are and rekindle that divine spark of the Spirit so you can in turn be love and mercy for others.
we offer this song by Bobby Fisher for your meditation: “Bread of Life.”
Blessings on your week!