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19th Feb. 2017 - 7th Sunday of the Year A

posted 18 Feb 2017, 01:09 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

We are challenged, deeply challenged once more by the living

word! Hatred is outlawed and we are invited to turn the other

cheek. We are out beyond the Ten Commandments and into

 no man's land. Rather we are in Jesus territory, the other cheek

and the extra mile scape. We are into the perfection stakes,

being prepared for the ultimate sacrifice.

 

So what about the not-really-our-friends-people? We do not

give them the title of enemy but we do not find them easy to

get on with. In fact they drive us round the bend. Their gift to us

is the opportunity to draw out a truly Christian response, albeit

at the near cost of our sanity.

 

And if there are people in our lives who really test our charity

and patience, we must recognise our capacity to test a dozen

others. Unique as we all undoubtedly are, we all have our

faults and failings and someone, somewhere not a million mile

away, is on the receiving end of our sin and selfishness. There

really is no place in our lives for intolerance, given our capacity

for mutual irritation, offence and grief.

 

Martyrs we may never be but we can pray genuinely for the

enemies we have made and who really do not like us.

Archbishop Derek Warlock used to make it his business to see

his dying priests where necessary to make his peace with them.

The ideal is not beyond us, given a huge gift of God's grace

and favour. Certainly our scriptures do not shrink from the

issues Being the real divine word, we may always expect

realism from the gospel and we get it. "Love your enemies and

pray for those who persecute you".

 

So people are different. It is almost impossible for everyone to

get on. Even Peter and Paul disagreed. Not everyone will like

me. It is healthy to accept the fact. It makes realists of us all.

And what better chance to grow in patience and charity and

humanity. People are, after all, God's gift to us. They mould

character and endurance. The saddest case is the man who has

given up on people.

 

The realism of the Word is underpinned by the mind-blowing

teaching of St. Paul, "Didn't you realise that you were God's

temple?" More precisely, the innermost part of the Temple, the

'sanctuary' where God dwells. We are consecrated and

reserved to God. We "belong to Christ and Christ belongs to

God."  Pauline, hard-to-grasp-teaching but totally enlightening

We see all our relationships in a new light. We can only move

into gratitude mode.

 

We give thanks for life, health, the people around us, friends

and family and the sacredness of it all. Our thanksgiving must

be unending and leaves us thinking positively about life, love,

our neighbours, ourselves and even our enemies. When all is

said and done, "The Lord is compassion and love". It's all

compassion and love. And that's the beginning and end of it

all, the Alpha and the Omega. And all will be well.

 

19th Feb. 2017 -  7th Sunday of the Year, A

H.B. & Hw.

 

We are challenged, deeply challenged once more by the living

word! Hatred is outlawed and we are invited to turn the other

cheek. We are out beyond the Ten Commandments and into

 no man's land. Rather we are in Jesus territory, the other cheek

and the extra mile scape. We are into the perfection stakes,

being prepared for the ultimate sacrifice.

 

So what about the not-really-our-friends-people? We do not

give them the title of enemy but we do not find them easy to

get on with. In fact they drive us round the bend. Their gift to us

is the opportunity to draw out a truly Christian response, albeit

at the near cost of our sanity.

 

And if there are people in our lives who really test our charity

and patience, we must recognise our capacity to test a dozen

others. Unique as we all undoubtedly are, we all have our

faults and failings and someone, somewhere not a million mile

away, is on the receiving end of our sin and selfishness. There

really is no place in our lives for intolerance, given our capacity

for mutual irritation, offence and grief.

 

Martyrs we may never be but we can pray genuinely for the

enemies we have made and who really do not like us.

Archbishop Derek Warlock used to make it his business to see

his dying priests where necessary to make his peace with them.

The ideal is not beyond us, given a huge gift of God's grace

and favour. Certainly our scriptures do not shrink from the

issues Being the real divine word, we may always expect

realism from the gospel and we get it. "Love your enemies and

pray for those who persecute you".

 

So people are different. It is almost impossible for everyone to

get on. Even Peter and Paul disagreed. Not everyone will like

me. It is healthy to accept the fact. It makes realists of us all.

And what better chance to grow in patience and charity and

humanity. People are, after all, God's gift to us. They mould

character and endurance. The saddest case is the man who has

given up on people.

 

The realism of the Word is underpinned by the mind-blowing

teaching of St. Paul, "Didn't you realise that you were God's

temple?" More precisely, the innermost part of the Temple, the

'sanctuary' where God dwells. We are consecrated and

reserved to God. We "belong to Christ and Christ belongs to

God."  Pauline, hard-to-grasp-teaching but totally enlightening

We see all our relationships in a new light. We can only move

into gratitude mode.

 

We give thanks for life, health, the people around us, friends

and family and the sacredness of it all. Our thanksgiving must

be unending and leaves us thinking positively about life, love,

our neighbours, ourselves and even our enemies. When all is

said and done, "The Lord is compassion and love". It's all

compassion and love. And that's the beginning and end of it

all, the Alpha and the Omega. And all will be well.

 

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