7th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, February 19th, 2017

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Father Jim Donohue

February 14, 2017

               The Resurrectionist Charism Statement asserts that “we believe that God calls us to work together for the resurrection of society, bringing his life and love to all.”  There is no one outside the love of God and there is no one who is outside the love that each of us is called to have for others.  This includes our enemies.  Jesus maintains in our gospel this weekend that we are called to do more than tolerate our enemies.  In fact, we are to love them and pray for them.  Only in this active way, will we truly become children of our Father, who knows no other way but love.  After all, God makes the sun rise on the good and the bad and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  We are to be equally as indiscriminate in our love for others as God is. 

                Reflecting upon our lives, we realize that God has forgiven and will continue to forgive each of us.  Even though we have been “enemies” of God’s ways and God’s love, God continues to call us back in mercy and forgiveness.  Surely, we should try to give freely and generously to others what has been given freely and generously to us.  Reflecting further upon this command of Jesus, we also realize that Jesus is not asking us to do anything that he, himself, has not done.  He provides us with a model of how we should act in the face of the activities of our enemies: he forgives them.  As he dies on the cross, he looks at his enemies who have been responsible for his suffering and death, praying, “Father, forgive them.” 

                Especially in recent times, when it is politic to point to “others” as the enemy, Jesus reminds us that we are all God’s children and that we are called to love and pray for our enemies, building bridges between us rather than walls.