LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOURS AND YOUR ENEMIES AS YOURSELF– SUNDAY GOSPEL REFLECTION (19 January, 2017)

SUNDAY READINGS AND THEMES

1st READING (Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18)
Theme: You must love your neighbours as yourself.
2nd READING (1st Corinthians 1:16-23)
Theme: All are your servants, but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.
GOSPEL (Matthew 5:38-48)
Theme: Love your enemies.
Law of divine wisdom - Love and pray for your friends and enemies

TODAY’S REFLECTION – DO YOU LOVE AND PRAY FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURS AND ENEMIES?

Today’s first reading and Gospel stressed on one thing- Love which includes love for your neighbours and your enemies. The second reading talked about divine wisdom, which is wisdom beyond physical and also about the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is our body.

The first reading stressed on love for neighbor. Before I talk about this, I will first explain who your neighbor is to clear all mis –interpretation.

Who is Your Neighbour?

A neighbour is anybody you interact with, either directly or indirectly. By direct interaction, I mean those living or staying very close to you, either in your place of work, house, etc. it could be a relation or someone not related to you. By indirect interaction, I mean those you meet suddenly or impromptu. This definition is a comprehensive one and is aimed at clearing any mis comprehension about neigbourhood.

God tells you today not to bear hatred for your brother in your heart, rather, openly tell your neighbour of his offenses in a way that you would not bring sin upon you. Also, he warns you not to assert vengeance, rather leave it for God because, “Vengeance is his.” Above all Love your Neighbour as yourself.


Do you really love and pray for your neighbours?

In the Gospel, Jesus condemned taking of vengeance on your friends and enemies. He tried to modify the Law of Moses, which says, “Eye for Eye and toth for tooth”, but he never condemned the law. Moses himself gave such law for the fear of the people of Israel.

Jesus encourages forgiveness and perseverance. He says, 
“If anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well.” 
Though this is very difficult for men. But another interpretation of this point is that when someone hits you on your right cheek, turn through your left cheek and walk away. Jesus was only trying to condemn retaliation or vengeance.

How often do you forgive your neighbours and enemies?

In the second reading, St. Paul tried to remind you that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore must be kept holy. You can only keep your body holy by avoiding sins and occasions of sin like sexual immorality, frequenting to night parties, theft, etc. He also made it known that before you can acquire divine wisdom, you must learn to be a fool because the wisdom of men is foolishness before God. So before you can receive wisdom from God you must admit your nothingness.

Is your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable before the holy spirit?

Are you ready to receive divine wisdom from God?

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