Gospel Reflections

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 6:27-38

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Barbara Thiella

Published: February 24, 2019

Read Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples:“To you who hear I say,love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, pray for... Read More…

Moments Along the Journey

In writing “Moments Along the Journey,” I moved between Jesus’ life journey and my own. I invite you to do the same.  My reflection begins with my early memory of a destitute man who rang the convent doorbell, asked for food, then collapsed at my feet.  Next, I observe the energy building in Luke’s gospel as he traces Jesus’ life journey. Finally, I end with Jonathan Tulloch’s tribute to a deceased friend in The Tablet. May these steps support your approach to the exhortation that begins: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Let’s start with my story. The middle-aged man slumped to the floor. My nurse mother Edna was visiting me in the convent parlor. I asked her to help the travelling man while I prepared some food. She said, “He does not need medical help - just some food.”  Taking the food, he left me with this advice, “Never lose the kind look in your eyes.” He has stayed with me as I grow older, his wise advice setting me up to respond with kindness no matter what.

Similar encounters continue to shape me. In the words of Richard Rohr, “The task and gift of our life is a journey we are each called to make from knowing God outside of our self to experiencing God’s presence within us.”

Since the start of February, the Sunday gospels have presented Jesus confidently moving into public life. Each one advances his journey towards its conclusion in Jerusalem.  After hearing himself called Abba’s beloved at the Jordan River, Jesus speaks about his growing experience of the holy one: loving and merciful, compassionate and kind. In his exhortation “to rejoice and leap for joy,” Jesus’ early disciples hear the signs of a blessed or woeful life.   Just as Abba’s love called Jesus to respond unconditionally, in like manner it challenges all Jesus’ listeners to risk loving others. Steadily, Jesus builds momentum from “Loving your neighbor(friend) as yourself” to “Love your enemies” to “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Jonathan Tulloch in “The Tablet,” February 4, 2019, pp 7-8 sums up the hope expressed by Jesus in this Sunday’s gospel: “Each of us is called to be loved intimately and fully by God who created us. Our task is to live in this love. All we have to do is accept the inheritance of our wonderfully unruly and limitless freedom…. God has a unique and magnificent dream for each and everyone of us: to live without fear, to love and be loved, to travel lightly on the adventure of our everyday life.”

Good Travels!


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