February 23, 2014
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
LV 19:1-2, 17-18
This week’s first reading from Leviticus is very short, but shows us part of the central identity of God. He is Holy. Unlink the pagans that worshiped false gods, God reveals Himself as set apart and higher than everything. In what sounds like a demanding request, God asks His people to follow His way and also be holy.
In our day, it can be tempting to look at the law of the Lord and think it is too complicated, too much or too hard to follow. Our relationship to the world around us can be narrowed down to the simple rule of loving others as ourselves.
PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
R/ (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
1 COR 3:16-23
In the second reading from St Paul to the Corinthians, St Paul comes to a common theme among his letters, correction for the people of the local church. The local Church in Corinth was having issues with unity. Many local factions had formed under their faithfulness to particular leaders among the Church.
This section of this letter from St Paul shows us some very colorful language about how he called our people in their errors. The strongest of which is in the beginning lines. Before the Ascension of Jesus, it was common knowledge that the temple in Jerusalem was the only place where sacrifices could be made. In this letter, St Paul points out that now that the Holy Spirit has converted us all His temples. This would be surprising to many people of this time, and make their errors seem even more grave.
This week’s Gospel from St Matthew strikes at the core of what Christianity is about – a radical and transformative love. It sounds crazy to think it is worth following a man that asks us to not only allow others to hit us, but then He even asks us to turn the other cheek. It all sounds almost too difficult to be true and it sounds tempting to read it only as figurative.
The truth is that Christianity is not easy, and we follow a God that humbled Himself to the point of allowing us to kill Him so that He might die and take on our sins. It is through that love that we encounter not just a religion, but a living truth and person that offer redemption. It might not call us to these specific situations, but then again it might. Christ challenges us not to count the costs and bold love in such a way that the world cannot deny that it is from God.
Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
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