February 19 2023 Gospel Reading and Reflection

2/19/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 5:38-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well.
40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well.
41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles.
42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
43 “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

2/19/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 5:38-48

The world today is enveloped by violence. There is war going on in some parts of the world. Almost everyday we hear of shootings and other forms of cruelties that man inflicts on his fellow men. On a closer look, we see that much of these barbaric acts of men stem from hatred and revenge. Many people still live the mantra, “An eye for an eye”. And so we ask, “When does this cycle of violence ever stop?”.

The gospel reading above is a call to ditch violence and embrace the way of love. The way of love is the surest path to peace and there can only be peace on earth if you and I are not enemies but good neighbors. Although we commit mistakes that annoy others and make them get angry with us, violence does not erupt because love reigns in our heart. Even if violence starts, it does not spiral into a never ending feud because love allows us, not to revenge but to forgive. In other words, forgiveness stops violence from spiraling.

This call to love our enemies and forgive those who have done us wrong is the Christian option to stop the prevalence of violence. It is not easy but not totally impossible. God is love and even the hardest heart can be melted by His love. That is why there is a need to constantly pray and ask the Lord to help us forgive one another.

Violence begets violence but love begets love. When we allow God’s love to fill our heart, then there is no room for hatred and thoughts of violence and revenge. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:9 that the peacemakers are blessed for they will be called Children of God. It is only when we have love that we can be at peace with ourselves and it is only when we have peace within that we can be peacemakers outside. When we have love, we have peace and harmony which results to joy. Then we can be as perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

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Gospel Reading with Reflection for February 19, 2023
Gospel Reading with Reflection for February 19, 2023

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