February 20, 2011
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17, 18
I Corinthians 3: 16-23
Matthew 5: 38-48
A careful reading of the New Testament, especially the four Gospels helps us to understand that Christ is calling each of us to go beyond the minimum requirements of the law and, in fact, Jesus calls us to practice the virtues to a degree that is truly heroic. The passage from Saint Matthew that was just read is ample proof of this truth.
There are some members of the faithful who object to such an understanding. There are those who say it is not possible. The best one can hope for, they say, is to “behave in a civil manner.”
But for those who take their Baptismal Vows seriously, this is not at all the case. Those who announce that point of view have become, over a period of time, indifferent, apathetic and, perhaps, even jaded and cynical.
By ourselves, of course, we are weak and frail. But, aided by the Graces offered to us in prayer and the frequent and regular reception of the Sacraments, we are able to accomplish all that Christ is asking of us.
The Holy Season of Lent begins on Wednesday, March 9. It would be very beneficial if we were to begin now to prepare ourselves to adopt those practices recommended to us by the church for this special Season of Grace.
It would be very beneficial if we were to take this Gospel passage of Matthew and allow it to be the foundation of our Lenten penances.
May the Holy Spirit give us the necessary Graces to persevere in our intentions.