Reflection: 24th February 2019

A Reflection for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lk 6: 27-38 ( )

Sometimes religion can be a bit too much. It seems unrealistic and not possible; it goes against our nature and makes objections when we want to do what comes naturally. How can we love someone whom we don’t like?  Why shouldn’t I get my own back on someone who does me wrong? It’s only natural.

But the gospel is not talking about what is natural; it is talking about what is supernatural. It is saying that we can do better, that we are better than we sometimes think.

And the Gospel message is not unrealistic; it sees that if we only follow what is natural then we will never bring about the Kingdom.

Christians are expected to go the extra mile; to forgive, not just to confine our love to our circle of family and friends, not to be so concerned about our rights and what we are owed, not to be quick to condemn. This means an act of will on our part, a conscious decision to do what the Gospel asks us to do. It is the way we are called to overcome hatred, violence, the breakdown of relationships.  

We cannot do this on our own. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can respond to the message of Jesus. The Gospel speaks to us of our potential to do so much for our world, not to be satisfied with the easy way out.  St. Paul says the natural life comes first and afterwards comes the Spirit. Many people remain on the first level but we are called to the next level. Only through the power of the Spirit can we go further. David managed it; Saul didn’t.

Pat Palmer C.S.Sp. – Fr Pat was ordained in 1976 and worked in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ireland. He is currently superior of the Spiritans in Taiwan and Vietnam, and lives in Ho Chi Minh City.