Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Also Read: Mass Readings for 19 February 2023 Homily for 19 February 2023 – Sunday
First Reading: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (2)
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (18)
In a few simple straightforward words, the precepts of our religion are set forth today. When we find them difficult to follow, we must remember we are fallen, humans. Yet GOD came into this human form and lived as an example for us! We ask him to grant us the courage to walk away from insults without retaliating, to ignore strikes knowing that our weapons are not from this world, and to realize that we can face the Goliaths without lifting the sword.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 103: 1-4, 8 and 10, 12-13
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (1)
As far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. (12)
As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. (13)
Second Reading: First Corinthians 3: 16-23
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (16)
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (17)
In the LORD God Almighty, we have our assurance. Amen!
Gospel: Matthew 5: 38-48
But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; (39)
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (48)
Christ echoes the words of the Father from the Old Testament here in the New Testament. We remember that Christ JESUS came to fulfil the Old Testament, which is perfectly reflected here! Today while we may not face a physical strike ever on our cheek; we are reminded that the strikes most often are spiritual and emotional, (where the greatest harm might be endured).
St. Paul then announces, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12) So we put on the Whole Armor of God (Eph 6:13-20) And “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:15) Those shoes will let you walk away from strife, they will steel up against the quakes, they will stay firm and bold, as they stride through enemy territory.
In JESUS’ Name. Amen!