Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

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Lectionary: 81
Read the Gospel: Luke 6:27-38

Gospel Summary
Luke presented the Golden Rule in this part of his Gospel. Jesus said to love our enemies and to share with and forgive them. If our enemies take something from us, we are to give them what they take and more. The point Jesus made was that if we only love people like ourselves, we are no better than the sinner because even the sinner loves other sinners. Sinners lend to one another, so it is not any great thing we have done if we lend something expecting payment in return. No, we are to give more than we receive and expect nothing in return. Then will our reward be great in heaven because God will measure us in the same way we measure other people.

Reflection for Families
When acts of terrorism hit close to home, we are especially challenged by this Gospel. For most of us, we think we are capable of loving our enemies, because until recently, we have never really encountered the enemy. But what is our response when the lector reads the prayers of the faithful at mass and prays for those who have destroyed our loved ones? In the movie, We Were Soldiers, Mel Gibson played the part of a colonel who wrote a letter to a soldier's widow telling her how courageous her husband was in battle. The audience assumes that he is writing to the widow of one of his own men, but when the camera pans the face of the woman reading the letter, we discover she is the widow of a Viet Cong soldier. The colonel understood today's Gospel.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Ask each member of the family to think of one person who is really hard to like. It may be someone you work with, go to school with, someone who's in your community, or it may be someone on the other side of the world. Describe what it is that makes it so hard to like that personÑwhy you might even call that person an enemy. Recalling then that we are all children of God, how might this person be loved by God? It might be hard, but stick with the task until you answer the question. Perhaps our lifestyles or cultures are so different that that person may call you an enemy as well. Finally, ask what you can do to help show love for this person. You may want to help one another come up with ideas.

Discussion Starters

1. The hardest part of this Gospel for me is a) loving my enemies, b) turning the other cheek, c) not judging others, d) forgiving others, or e)giving something without expecting repayment because ...
2. There is someone I know who has a hard time loving me because ...
3. When I feel myself starting to judge someone, I ...