+ Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany +
February 20, 2011
“Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete.” Matthew 5:48
1. We are made complete by loving our neighbor
a. We are plagued with oppression, injustice, partiality, slander, putting stumbling blocks, hating, taking vengeance, bearing grudges, getting even, etc.
b. Only possible in Christ! “He is the universal Man who bears all of humanity in his life, who sums up all of history in his own story, who is the counterweight of love which counterpoises all human sins. Because of that, our Lord can only perceive all of humanity at the same time, and assume all human beings in this humanity, without excluding anyone. And if we want to be his disciples, we must enter into the catholicity of Jesus Christ…We can reach the true Christ open to all of humanity, who bears all of history, only if we open our hearts to all humanity, if we remove all barriers and all limitations. (Fr. Maurice Zundel + 1975).
2. We are made complete by loving even our enemies
a. We were all enemies of God Colossians 1:21 This includes you who
were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Romans 5:10; 8:7 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
b. Only in Christ can we say with our heart: Father, forgive them.
Ephesians 4:7, 12-13 Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us…so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.
O divine fruit of the Virgin’s womb, may I love you in union with the holy mother of God. Fill my life with the obedience of St. Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepherds so that the witness of my life may shine like the star that led the Magi to your manger.