7A Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18. “Be holy, for I, Lord your God, am holy.” What does that mean for us? Later God says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is it that commands this of us? “I am the Lord,” your God who is master over you. What does it mean to love. “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.” “Take no revenge and cherish no grudge.”
Matthew 5:38-48. No longer “an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth,” “offer no resistance to one who is evil.” Not only that but indulge and cooperate with the one strikes you, or wants your tunic or your service or to borrow from you. Should we understand all this in strict sense? In the Gospel for Monday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time (Mark 8:11-13), the Pharisees demand a sign (miracle) from heaven from Jesus. He responds, “No sign will be given to this generation.” The next day’s Book of Genesis reading (6:5-8, 7:1-5, 10) says, “When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,” God sends the flood to destroy those evil people, except for Noah who is not evil. Obviously, Jesus’ words should not be taken literally but as examples of how far God’s love is willing to go, given the proper and appropriate situation and circumstance. This gospel ends with, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This means that God is perfect according to his capacity to be perfect which is infinite and we are to perfect according to our capacity to be perfect which is, in contrast, finite. As God is, so should we be. His is our Father; we are his children, maturing more and more each day to grow in his image and likeness as we were first made to be (Genesis 1:26-27).
1 Corinthians 3:16-23. Paul writes, “Brothers and Sisters (in Christ): Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within you?” We are no longer simply human but God lives in us and raises us above what is merely human by his power. Do not think you are wise, if you belong to what is of this world. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God.” Everything that is good and wise belongs to God and to those who belong to God. “All belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.” In the Parable of the Lost or Prodigal Son, the father says to the elder (older) son, “Everything I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31b) This is what Our Father says to us. Since we have it all because we are temples of God, it makes no sense to seek anything from a world that has nothing.