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Scripture Reflection - February 19, 2023

First Reading – Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18 | Psalm – 103

Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 | Gospel- Matthew 5:38-48

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

You shall love your neighbor as yourself, says the Lord. In today’s world, do we take this to heart and put it into action in our everyday lives? Have we fallen into the trap of being self-loathing, and therefore it makes it easier to loathe others? Let’s consider today’s readings and allow the wisdom of the scriptures to guide us and right our waving ships of behavior.

In the first reading from Leviticus, we are told to bear no hatred, take no revenge, and cherish no grudge against another but love one another. While we may need to reprove another for their behavior, we do not need to fall victim to sin. Consider all the tragic mass shootings just this year. Surely, we need to condemn them and pray for the innocent lives lost, but we must also pray for those who commit these acts of violence. How troubled are these souls that they must harm others? Hatred kills-it kills the person who is physically hurt and the person who hates.

The Psalm is clear. In all ways, the Lord is kind and merciful. Despite our iniquities, we are pardoned, healed, and redeemed.

In the second reading of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we are reminded that God dwells within us. All things belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Finally, in today’s Gospel, Jesus implores us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. This Gospel challenges us to end violence by refusing to retaliate. It requires us to live in a stance of reconciliation. Strive for perfection by God’s grace when encountering those we recognize and love and those who would seek to do us harm. Love knows no bounds, and neither should we.

-Sr. Joan Agro, OP


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