Homily – 7th Sunday Ordinary Time – 19th February 2023
In the Gospel Jesus calls us not only to righteousness according to the law, but to a higher righteousness based upon a commitment to his word and person.
How often is it said that the basic law of Christianity is the law of love, but how little that is genuinely practical. What marks our so-called Christian world today: Vendetta and self-protection, or universal love and forgiveness?
It must be honestly admitted that while many professing Christians today have a firm belief in God, they have lost serious interest in following Jesus. In the world of today, the most important thing is one’s professional and financial security and progress. There is little place in today’s world for such attitudes as “if anyone hits you on the right cheek offer him the other as well or give to anyone who asks and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.”
One might even ask: What marks the Christian churches of today: Vendetta and self-protection, or universal love? God may well be in place, but what of Jesus and his teaching? We will all have our own experience to look back to in answer to those questions, but ultimately they all come home: What marks my Christian life: Self-protection, or universal love. Even in our practice of Christianity, are we not too interested in “what’s in it for me?”
The quality of our love is no small matter. It is the measure of our Godliness. We all sense our capacity to love and to be loved, the desire to be desired by the one we desire. It is in this that we sense the presence of the divine within us.
In Jesus’ command to perfect love, he is teaching us the way to be the signs and bearers of God’s love in the world.