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Gospel reflection

February 23, 2014: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)

The late Nelson Mandela is known for working to bring forgiveness and peace to his country. One of Mandela’s quotes is: “Forgiveness liberates the soul.”

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
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.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
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.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38-48)

My six-year-old cousin was playing with two of her friends, when one friend pushed the other. Her friend pushed her back. My cousin did not like to see her friends fighting and told them, “When someone is mean to you, and you are mean back, that makes you mean.”

Sometimes it is so hard to be kind to someone who is mean or a bully to us, but that is not what Jesus asks us to do. Jesus says “love your enemy” or “turn the other cheek.”

Action:

Don’t get even with mean words or mean actions. Try to have patience with those who are hard to deal with. Tell people how you are feeling and try to be respectful. Forgive those who have hurt you.

 

Guest reflection writers:

teresa and jillTeresa and Jill Kasten, Sister Rebecca Keller’s sister  and niece, wrote today’s Gospel Reflection as guest authors.

Teresa is an elementary education teacher, and her daughter, Jill, has a degree in early childhood education.

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Sister Rebecca Keller

Sister Rebecca Keller, SP, is Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Sisters of Providence. Her past ministerial experiences include teaching at both the elementary and high school levels.

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