Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 22, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Jesus told His disciples, “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” He goes on to say that if we are mistreated “turn the other cheek.” In other words, do not strike back! Do not attempt to “get even” for what has been done to us.

Often in Night Prayer for the Liturgy of the Hours, we are admonished that “If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you.” Therefore, we need to “Be merciful, just as our Father is merciful.”

We constantly ask God for forgiveness for our failings, our sins. God asks us to forgive those who sin against us, as He forgives us. In the Lord’s Prayer we specifically ask, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Jesus goes on to tell His disciples (and us) that it is not enough to just forgive, but we must “love our enemies and do good for them.” We are called to care for and help convert others to Christian love by the love we show them.

We have no greater example of that love than Jesus, Himself, hanging on the cross and praying “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Our Gospel today ends with Jesus saying, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. ‘Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.’”

Let us love and do good to everyone in this life, so as to be measured as worthy to enter eternal life in heaven with God.

– Bp. Roy Campbell

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