Father Arthur’s Homily, February 22-23, 2020 – A Prayer to Jesus
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A Gospel – Matthew 5:38-48:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Father Arthur Marat’s Homily, February 22-23, 2020.
A prayer to Jesus in response to the above Gospel reading:
Lord, Your love is so great that You gave the law of the Old Testament. It is so great, that You taught Your followers how to love both interiorly and exteriorly. So great is Your love that you defend my neighbors from my evil thoughts, and you defend me in the same way from their evil thoughts. Today you emphatically proclaim that the one who loves also forgives. You have told me, Lord, that Love bears all wrongs in the silence of the heart. And You have taught me, Lord, not to return evil for evil.
My Loving Savior, You do not desire that anyone suffer. And yet, in You are fulfilled the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity … Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, He was silent and opened not his mouth.” I also remember, Lord Jesus, that St. Peter said: “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When He was insulted, He returned no insult; when He suffered, He did not threaten; instead, He handed himself over to the one who judges justly.” Jesus, You freely submitted to suffering on Golgotha and to take our sins upon Yourself, in order to reconcile us to God the Father. Only in Your love does our suffering find its meaning.
Lord, I thank you for imparting Your strength to me through the sacraments. I thank You, Jesus, for filling my heart with Your Love. You do not demand that we love each other with empty hearts, but hearts overflowing with Your mercy and goodness. You know that without You we can do nothing. And so, when I am united with You like a branch is united to the vine, my life bears abundant fruit. Thank You, Lord, for Your Providence; nothing and no one is lost to You. And I thank You, Sweet Jesus, for giving me the possibility to do what, from a human point of view, appears to be impossible.
Lord, please give me the grace to listen to Your voice and teach me to pray. Thank You for Your Love, which is eternal. Thank You for giving me the strength to Love. Thank You, Jesus, for loving all people without preference or exception; for, as You said, You make the sun rise on the bad and the good alike.
Thank You, God the Father, for the beautiful words of Cardinal Hume: “Every moment we feel kindness toward anyone, and when we perceive in another person what is good and kind, we undergo a valuable experience. Through this experience, God shows us how He Himself looks upon us.”