7th Sunday
Ordinary Time

FOCUS:    We are called to bear Christ’s merciful image.

 

The Lord delivers Saul into David’s hands, and yet David chooses not to kill but to show mercy. As followers of Christ, we are called to love even our enemies and treat them as we would want them to treat us. We are asked to ignore our natural inclinations toward revenge and recompense, and instead choose forgiveness and generosity – to conform ourselves to Christ.

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Shadow

Opening Prayer

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, always pondering spiritual things,
we may carry out in both word and deed
that which is pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever 

Readings

Even though Saul is delivered into his hands by the Lord, David chooses not to kill him. Paul writes that just as we have borne the image of Adam, we shall also bear the image of Christ. Jesus tells his disciples to love their enemies, give to everyone who asks, and be merciful as the Father is merciful.

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Reflection

What's in Your Heart

  • Are there people in your life you have considered to be your enemies? If so, how have dealt with them?

  • Have you been able in some way to treat them in a loving way, despite what they may have done to you? Are you carrying any resentment, bitterness, or ill-will toward them? If so, what can you do to let go of the negative feelings?

Petitions

Let us call on the Father’s mercy as we offer him our petitions.

 

1)         For the Church throughout the world, may God bestow unity among all her peoples, let us pray to the Lord.

 

2)         For political leaders, may the Lord assist them in working to promote peace among all nations, let us pray to the Lord.

 

3)         For those who suffer from the effects of violent conflict in their communities, may God protect and comfort them, let us pray to the Lord.

 

4)         For those gathered here, may the Holy Spirit increase in us a spirit of conversion and openness to his work in our lives, let us pray to the Lord. 

 

5)         For all who have died, may they receive every good gift from the Father in heaven, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Heavenly Father, look mercifully on these prayers we have offered you today. Hear and answer them according to your will, through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Quotes

The highest wisdom is kindness.
—The Talmud

Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.
—Jean Paul Richter

Mercy is the image of God, and the merciful are, in fact, a God dwelling on the Earth. As God is merciful to all, without distinction, so the merciful must share benefits equally.
—Rabban Youssef Bousnaya, 10th-century Syrian monk

Closing Prayer

May the strength of God sustain us;

may the power of God preserve us;

may the hands of God protect us;

may the way of God direct us;

may the love of God go with us this day and forever.

Amen.