Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 12, 2023
by Carol Craven, Notre Dame Associate
First Reading: Sirach 15:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
Second Reading: First Corinthians 2: 6-10
Gospel: Matthew 5: 17-37
Today’s readings are filled with words and phrases that merit reflection: Life and Death, Good and Evil, Wisdom of God, Law of the Lord, “Do not think I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets, but fulfill the law,” understanding, Spirit, teach, justice, judgement, reconcile and more.
Laws are essential in our daily individual and communal lives. Laws govern our behavior, our society, our faith, and global concerns. Laws are barriers for some, life giving for others. We have the freedom to choose to obey laws. When we are confronted with choosing between good and evil, it is important to hold the tension of the opposites so that a third thing can emerge. In that space, the wisdom of God can break through and a new way of thinking or being that comes from a place of love becomes apparent.
Laws are made by leaders in the community, heads of households, and various bodies that govern. It is important that all leaders have qualities of leadership: Integrity, humility, values, openness, purpose, wisdom, discernment, inner peace and more.
Pope Francis said. “The law is a path and may the Lord help people walk along the path of the Ten Commandments, however, by looking at Christ’s love, the encounter with Christ, knowing that the encounter with Jesus is more important than all the commandments.” (catholicherald.com)
Where do we encounter Jesus? We encounter Jesus in:
- the scriptures: In Bethlehem, teaching, breaking of the bread, on the cross, the road to Emmaus.
- the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Matrimony.
- the church: Sacred space, art, music, liturgy, community.
- prayer: solitude, silence, meditation.
- nature: on the mountain, the valley, the woods, the water, the flower, the birds, all creatures and the universe.
- the marketplace: the grocery, on the street, the homeless, the poor, the elderly, the lonely.
- our homes: our spouse, our siblings, our children, guests.
- actions: forgiveness, kindness, compassion, honesty, integrity.
At the end of the day, the questions to ask are: “How did I love today?”, “Did I encounter Jesus?”