7th Sunday after the Epiphany
RCL Yr. A: Leviticus 18:1-2, 9-18 and Matthew 5:38-48
February 23, 2014
The Rev. Gillian R. Barr
Church of the Good Shepherd, Pawtucket, RI
In today’s readings from Matthew and Leviticus we are asked to do some very difficult things. To not resist or strike back when we are attacked, verbally or physically. To give to anyone who asks, regardless of their worthiness or what they plan to do with the money. To love our enemies.
These demands in Matthew go against all of our instincts of self-preservation, of self-defense, and of achievement. They don’t fit with what would seem to be the responsible way to handle our resources to provide for ourselves and our families. They challenge our physical safety and our financial security. And they fly in the face of our American culture, which emphasizes self-sufficiency, pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps, enjoying the fruits of our own hard work. Continue reading