Commentary for Sunday: 19th February

Matthew 5, 38-48:

Sunday, 19th February 2023 (7 Sunday O. T.)

“You have heard that it is said: ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and slander you. In this way you will be children of your Father in heaven, who causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust”.

We continually hear about the many situations of violence in the world: Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, to name but a few. News of terrorism, gender violence… We feel them close to us thanks to the media, but at the same time distant, because, although they impact us, we see them as from other worlds. It seems that it is in the interest of many organisations and people with power to keep it that way, for their own benefit. Years ago I saw a film by the brilliant Mario Moreno “Cantinflas”, in which he addressed an assembly of nations and told them that they had confused the words of the Carpenter of Nazareth and changed the meaning, and that “love one another” had become “arm yourselves against one another”.

Today the gospel reminds us again of Jesus’ message: “Love your enemies; return good for evil; turn the other cheek…. Be perfect like your heavenly Father… Do not be like the heathen…”.

What can I do more than symbolic gestures? Will they have any impact on reality? I can start by looking at my own environment, examining my actions and attitudes, and not just abhorring distant situations. Are my relationships with others peace-generating, do I provoke tensions, do I harbour grudges and resentments?

Difficult ideal. But only that which is attempted is possible. And only those who fight for peace can make a better world possible.


Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf

Are you trying to make it possible?



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