Thursday, February 17, 2011
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time—A
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
Each and every human being is called to be holy, to be perfect. After all, we are created in the image of God, who is holy and perfect.
Difficult, yes, but not impossible, and it is not more difficult than the abundant assistance granted to us through Christ, through whom we can do all things. Superhuman strength is not required, only the will to turn away from the wisdom of this world.
The wisdom of this world tells us to look out for “Number One,” to exact “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” to never give or do more than what is necessary. This is all foolishness in the eyes of God because it never ends there. Violence begets violence.
God’s wisdom reverses the tide. Take no revenge, the Book of Leviticus tells us. In the Gospel, Jesus says precisely the same thing. A cutting remark answered with another quickly spirals into an argument—or worse. Grudges and acts of selfishness have similar capacities to build upon one another. However, when such acts are met with gentle yet firm kindness, mercy, and generosity, our “enemies” are taken aback. Love is given the space to take root and grow in the foolish light of the Cross, which reconciled us to God while we were still enemies.
God’s grace provides the strength to go the extra mile. Perfection is reached one step at a time on the path of holiness, and it all begins within each heart God has fashioned in His image. Love begets love.