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7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday February 21, 2038

Mass Readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First Reading - Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18: God commands the Israelites through Moses to be holy as He is, to avoid hatred, seek no revenge, bear no grudges, and love their neighbors as themselves.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 103: I praise the Lord, remembering His kindnesses: forgiving sins, healing diseases, and rescuing from despair, showing mercy and love far beyond our failings.
  • Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 3:16-23: You are a temple of God, housing His Spirit. Defiling this temple invites ruin. Worldly wisdom is folly; true wisdom is in God. Boast not in leaders, for all belong to Christ.
  • Gospel -Matthew 5:38-48: Jesus teaches a radical love and non-resistance: instead of "an eye for an eye," he urges turning the other cheek, giving more than what is asked, and going the extra mile. He instructs his disciples to love enemies and pray for persecutors, embodying God's impartial kindness, challenging them to love universally as God does.

Themes for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A focus on holiness and loving our neighbor. The first reading tells us not to bear grudges and gives us the Golden Rule. The second reading reminds us that all of us are God's temples. And in the gospel, Jesus tells us that we must love everyone, even our enemies.

  • Holiness
  • Mercy
  • Morality

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

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Resources for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Why Must I Pray for My Enemies
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Why Must I Pray for My Enemies?

Jesus commanded us to love. The Catholic Church teaches that respecting life is more than just not hurting other people. We must actively work for peace and justice, even for those we are in conflict with.

Praying for Someone Who Has Hurt You
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Praying for Someone Who Has Hurt You

Praying for someone who has hurt you is difficult. This prayer is especially powerful if you are still harboring some resentment. Pray from your heart, but if you are having trouble getting started, try this prayer.

love your enemies activity sheet
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Love Your Enemies Activity Sheet

This Love Your Enemies activity sheet can be used for religious education or Children’s Liturgy of the Word. It is a fill in the blank sheet.

Love Your Enemies A Lesson Plan on Conversion of Heart
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Love Your Enemies – A Lesson Plan on Conversion of Heart

This Love Your Enemies lesson plan will help youth understand why God asks us to love our enemies. This is very difficult to do, but by changing hearts we can change the world.

Praise the Goodness of God Prayer Based on Psalm 103
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Praise the Goodness of God

This prayer is based on Psalm 103, which is the responsorial psalm for this Sunday. God knows us completely and shows us mercy. He does not hold our sins against us. Instead he saves us.

Homilies and Reflections for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Love as God Loves

A homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Bishop Robert Barron. "Friends, we continue our reading of the marvelous Sermon on the Mount. We cannot read this sermon as one ethical teaching among many. Everyone from Plato and Aristotle all the way up through Kant and Hegel have a moral philosophy—an understanding of how humans ought to behave. This is precisely the wrong way to read the Sermon on the Mount, because no one—ancient or modern, religious or nonreligious—sounds like Jesus. His radical command to love as God loves, in fact, sounds a little bit crazy."

Bishop Barron Presents | Arthur Brooks: Love Your Enemies

Arthur Brooks is an American social scientist, musician, and contributing opinion writer for the Washington Post. His latest book is titled “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt.”

Love Your Enemy

In this reflection for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jeff Cavins explains that Jesus tells us how to form our attitude who oppose us philosophically, politically, or religiously. We must pray for our persecutors.

Love your Enemies

After Jesus gives the beatitudes in the Gospel of Luke, he makes a demand of his followers that is, quite frankly, counter-intuitive: Love your Enemies.

Forgiveness Is Not the Same as Reconciliation

Fr. Mike Schmitz explains that when we are hurt, we must understand that forgiveness is not making the other person pay for what they have done to us. We release them from our debt. But we can also release them from the relationship.

Be Holy

Another homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Bishop Robert Barron. "As we continue our focus on the Old Testament texts, we turn this week to the nineteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus. As the name suggests, the book has a good deal to do with the Levites, who were the priests of ancient Israel. Accordingly, there is much talk of ritual, sacrifice, taboo, the clean and the unclean, etc. In a word, the book of Leviticus was laying out the practices by which Israel set itself apart from the other nations. But the holiness of Israel was only a function of the supreme holiness of the God of Israel. Israel was meant to be different, because God is different."

Holy as God

A reflection for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Scott Hahn. "We are called to the holiness of God. That is the extraordinary claim made in both the First Reading and the Gospel this Sunday. Yet how is it possible that we can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect? Jesus explains that we must be imitators of God as His beloved children (Ephesians 5:1–2)." Continue reading.

More Thoughts for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Matthew 5:38-48 - Love Your Enemies

Jesus begins this passage by speaking about retaliation. He tells his followers not to resist an evildoer but to turn the other cheek. This can be difficult for us as humans because we often want to seek revenge when we have been wronged. However, Jesus challenges us to respond to evil with love rather than hatred.

Jesus goes on to teach his followers about loving their enemies. He tells them to pray for those who persecute them and to love their enemies as themselves. This is a radical message, and it can be challenging for us as Catholics to put into practice. It requires us to let go of our anger and resentment towards others and to see them as children of God.

As Catholics, we believe that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore, every person has inherent dignity and worth. Jesus' teaching on loving one's enemies is a reminder to us of this truth. We are called to love and respect all people, regardless of their actions or beliefs.

How to Forgive

The gospel for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is challenging. The command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us seems impossible at times. When we have truly been wounded by another person, forgiveness is much more difficult than flipping a switch. It takes time and patience.

A good first step is to ask the Divine Physician to heal the wound. For a raw, hurting wound makes it almost impossible to focus on anything else. When we become focused on the hurt, replaying the memory in our heads, ask the Lord for healing. Speak to Him about how you feel. He knows better than any of us what it feels like to be betrayed and wounded.

It might also be necessary to pray for the desire to forgive the other person. Our natural instinct is to want revenge. We need God's help to change our hearts to truly want to forgive. When the desire to forgive is growing in our hearts, then we can pray for the person who has hurt us.

It is also important to realize that none of this process requires interacting with the person who hurt us. That is completely optional. We might never get an apology or an understanding of what caused the incident. Waiting for that just keeps us held hostage. Letting go and forgiving sets us free.

Be Perfect?

Jesus ends this passage by saying, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." This can be a daunting statement, but it is a reminder to us that we are called to strive for holiness in our lives. We are called to imitate the love and mercy of God in all that we do, even towards those who may hurt us.

Reflection Questions for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • Is there someone in my life whom I consider an "enemy"?
  • How can I be more Christlike in my interactions with people who oppose me?
  • How can praying for someone who has hurt me be beneficial for me also?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

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.

Matthew 5:44-45

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Mass readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A?

First Reading - Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18: Call to Holiness and Love
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 103: God's Merciful Love
Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 3:16-23: You Are God's Temple
Gospel -Matthew 5:38-48: Teaching on Love and Non-Resistance
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A and links to the readings.

What Are the themes for the Mass readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A?

See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

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2 responses to “7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A”

  1. Juan Torres Avatar
    Juan Torres

    I’m a 45 yr old man, a member of a confraternity, Brotherhood of Penitents of St. Dismas. I am new to learning my faith and was searching for info that would help me give a reflection to men in our brotherhood. I almost didn’t click this link because it said “young.” Lol This site is just what this “young Catholic” needed. God bless you all.

  2. Maurice Avatar

    I deeply appreciate and thank you for your rich contributions and effort to reach out to evangelize beyond your borders. Remain abundantly blessed.

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