Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, 19 Feb: Lv 19:1-2, 17-18; Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13; 1 Cor 3:16-23; Mt 5:38-48 ~ children of a holy God

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today Jesus teaches us that loving the enemy and praying for those who make life difficult are two marks of a Christian. We gather, aware of how difficult love can be, yet united by the saving mercy of God, on which we rely.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, in Christ Jesus you challenge us to renounce violence and to forsake revenge. Teach us to recognize as your children even our enemies and persecutors and to love them without measure or discrimination. We ask this 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. Amen.
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“Love divine all loves excelling” – Keswick Praise


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Leviticus19:1-2, 17-18 (NLT)
[Love for the Lord is seen in love for all God’s people.]

The Lord also said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
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“Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13 NLT)

Little boy hugging an old book

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
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The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
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He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
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He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
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“Psalm 103” – Jess Ray


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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 (NLT)
[We belong to Christ and Christ is God’s, so we belong to God.]

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”

And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.”

So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you — whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 5:38-48 (NLT)
[Jesus explains how Christians should live.]

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
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“Heal Our Land” – Kari Jobe


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Intercessory Prayer:

God of love and compassion, slow to anger and rich in mercy – hear our payers:

+ For Church leaders around the world, especially those in war-torn lands….
+ For an end to war and violence, especially in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine….
+ For people who are at war with each other — that they may forgive and make peace….
+ For those who have hurt us — that You may help us to end our quarrels….
+ For people who are sick or troubled — that You may bring them healing….
+ For ourselves and those we love — that You may always be close to us….
+ For those who have died in Christ – that You may crown them with love and compassion….

God of love and compassion, have pity on Your people and grant us Your gracious help, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Love divine all loves excelling” – Kingsway Music


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Benediction:

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. – 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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