Services 
& Agencies

Back to Services & Agencies

Scripture of the Week

DAILY SCRIPTURES

Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  

SUNDAY SCRIPTURES

Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here

GOSPEL AND REFLECTION

SUNDAY 23 FEB 2020  : SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A

First Reading - Lv 19:1-2. 17-18

You must love your neighbour, as yourself.

The Lord spoke to Moses; he said: ‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them: “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.

“You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”’

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 102:1-4. 8. 10. 12-13. R. v.8

(R.) The Lord is kind and merciful.

Second Reading - 1 Cor 3:16-23

All things are yours, but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

Didn’t you realise that you were God’s temple and that the Spirit of God was living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.

Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are, or again: God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise. So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

Gospel Acclamation

1 Jn 2:5

Alleluia, alleluia!

Whoever keeps the word of Christ,

grows perfect in the love of God.

Alleluia!

Gospel - Mt 5:38-48

Love your enemies.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Gospel Reflection:

Today’s gospel is a continuation of the Matthean Jesus’ teaching on the sort of righteousness, the right relationship and justice, to which his followers are called in their living of the Law. The Law of Moses included a law of retaliation designed to make punishment for wrongdoing to persons or property proportionate to the offence (Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20 and Deuteronomy 19:21). This was quite enlightened legislation at that time. In a series of striking images, Jesus invites his followers to go far beyond the strict application of the law and to embrace a new way of thinking about and acting towards those who injured them or us.

Relinquishing your right to compensation is one thing. Giving more of your property to one who has stolen from you is quite another. Do we take this teaching literally or do we simply embrace the spirit of non-retaliation that seems to be at the heart of this teaching? A too-easy amnesty does not always bring justice. Last week’s gospel reminded us that there is to be no place for uncontrolled anger or murderous thoughts in our hearts. Both that teaching and this seem to be about taking responsibility for how we live. Harbouring anger can have disastrous consequences for oneself as well as for others. It tends to become a state of being and skew our capacity for right judgement. What happens to us may be beyond our control. What we do with what comes our way is for us to decide. Jesus makes it clear that we have choices in the face of life’s struggles. The disciple is called to assume personal responsibility and to refuse the way of retaliation.

The final example or antithesis in the list of six that Jesus offers in the Sermon on the Mount is the most confronting of all: there are to be no limitations on love. Loving one’s enemies is quite a challenge, on a personal as well as a global level. We learn the hard way that we cannot change others. We can only change our attitudes and our approaches to those who harm us in any way. Catherine McAuley, the first Sister of Mercy, wrote that her sisters “never let the sun go down on their anger”. I used to wonder how they managed that. Over recent years I have found that praying quite deliberately for those who give us a hard time or cause us grief is by far the most effective way of retaining my own peace of mind and of expelling retaliatory thoughts. For me, it is a matter of gently bringing these people to mind, of breathing in the loving kindness or chesed of God that suffuses the universe and of breathing it out to them. Such prayer enables me to think of them in kindly ways and act towards them without rancour, even when these sentiments are not reciprocated.

 Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.


 

 

 

 
 

Professional Standards

Stewardship

Pastoral

Welfare

Education

We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese
we gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the sea
in interwoven faith communities. Spirit filled
we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Diocesan Vision Statement 2005

All Enquiries

PO Box 576
Ballarat, Victoria 3353

Phone +61 3 5337 7111

Where to find us

Catholic Diocese of Ballarat
5 Lyons Street South
Ballarat, Victoria 3353