Sunday, February 19, 2017 Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
“Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.” John of the Cross
A parable of hospitality and the works of mercy: “I was on the run and you took me in, I was hungry and you made me breakfast, I was thirsty and you gave me coffee, I had wet socks on my feet and you gave me dry ones. I was ready to kill and you freed me from my weapon.” This describes the encounter between an elderly couple and an armed escape convict. The couple actually lived out the words of Matthew’s Gospel and saved their lives and the life of the armed convict Not only did the convict – returned to prison – become their friend, he also became a dedicated Christian. This is what can happen when you listen to the words of Jesus and put yourself in the hands of the living God.
In Leviticus, God says: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” The juxtaposition of those words has always struck me – love your neighbor as yourself, God says, because I say so. After all, at the end of the day, I set the standard. You may have to swallow hard, beg for the grace of forgiveness, struggle mightily hard inside, set aside feelings of bitterness, revenge, fear, but you will be my child, child of grace, child of my heart. You will be following in the live of my saints, my chosen ones, up to and including Pope Francis and his continued call to a life of mercy. A prayer “Disarm Me” "Disarm me. God, of negativity, of any despair or disbelief lurking in the corners of my spirit. Take away any resentment or revenge that prevents holding all your creatures in reverence. Unarm my weapons of coldness and silence, melt my steely stance that keeps me barricaded, locked in forgiveness and fear. Tenderize my heart of stone, soften my gristle, teach me to walk gently upon this earth."
-Sr. Katherine Marie Bogner
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