Readings and Reflection for Sunday February 19, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
A reading from the Book of Leviticus 19: 1-2. 17—18

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy. “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 103:1 -2.3-4.8. 10.12- 13 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R/.

It is the Lord who forgives all your sins,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with mercy and compassion. R/.

R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our faults. R/.

As far as the east is from the west,
so far from us does he remove our transgressions.
As a father has compassion on his children,
the Lord’s compassion is on those who fear him. R/.

SECOND READING
“All things are yours, and you are Christ’s,’ and Christ is God’s.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 3 :16-23)

Brethren: Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA 1 John 2:5
Alleluia. Whoever keeps Christ’s word, in him truly love for God is perfected. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“Love your enemies.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:38-45

At that time: 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, ‘Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus surprises the crowds with these words: “You have heard the commandment, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” However what I say to you is: “Offer no resistance to any type of injury. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him/her your other cheek. Or if someone takes you to court over you shirt, give him your coat as well.” Then Jesus gives other examples.

“You have heard the commandment: love your countryman and pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are children of God. After all, the sun rises on the bad and the good and rains on the just and the unjust.”

Jesus always hopes that we will act without limits on our love and our forgiveness. Often, this seems impossible to do, yet if we pray and strive to have an open heart, eventually we will be able to forgive the individual and hopefully develop a healthier relationship with him or her. The ball is in your court! What will you choose to do?

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