Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time | Bishop Schlert

Gospel Reading
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, 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.

"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Mt 5:38-48

Gospel Reflection
Praised be Jesus Christ!

The Scripture for today's Mass provides us a stark reminder not only of our Christian duty but also the reason for this duty.

The Gospel gives us a list of tasks that are utterly strange in the eyes of the world; for he tells us to offer no resistance to one who is evil (cf. Mt 5: 39) or praying for those who persecute us (cf. Mt 5: 44). These tasks are something that is very different than the eye-for-an-eye mentality that permeates so much of our society.

Is Jesus calling us to be weak? It's quite the opposite, for Christ isn't calling us to be weak but to be strong, resolute. He is calling us to be like Him, He is calling us to spiritual perfection (cf. Mt 5: 48). How can we be perfect? The first step is holiness. The First Reading reminds us about holiness for we are called to be holy not for the sake of itself but because God is holy (cf. Lev 19:2). Holiness is not weakness because Christ was not weak, for He suffered courageously for us.

Today, let us be so strengthened by Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist that we can truly be called living temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 3: 16) and have the courage to perform our Christian duty so that we can truly be called Christian, a follower of Christ. As we approach Lent, may we make this our resolve.

As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+Bishop Schlert