Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Matthew 5:38-48
1. Jesus tells us to act out of love and says that acting out of love is better than acting out of revenge. What does your experience tell you?
2. Perhaps you have at times hit back in revenge when you have been hurt or offended. What effect did this have on you, on others, and on your relationship with them? Contrast this with the times when you resisted the urge to retaliate. What outcome did this have on you, on others, and on your relationship with them – at the time, and in the long term?
3. From other passages in the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus did not mean that we should ignore injustices, or never make a stand against others. What lessons have you learnt in life on when, and how, to make a stand? What wisdom would you share with others from your experience? 
– John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
‘I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life. She’s in heaven and we shall meet again. I will pray for these men tonight and every night.’ These words of Gordon Wilson echoed across the world in 1987, just hours after his 20-year-old daughter Marie was killed in an IRA bomb in Enniskillen. Very few words in the history of the Northern Ireland conflict had such a powerful impact. His extraordinary capacity to forgive the people who had caused him so much pain helped to move along the slow process.’
Gordon Wilson was the personification of the words of Jesus: ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’ It is one of the most difficult and challenging passages in the Gospels; one commentator calls it ‘Jesus’ most unreasonable command.’ Living under oppressive Roman rule, with torture and murder not uncommon, the disciples knew what it was to hate their enemies. As we read and listen to the news today, the cruelty of people continues to astound and upset us. But Jesus reminds us that everyone is human. All are children of God, who ‘causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good.’ While we clearly don’t accept or excuse the terror and evil in the world, we cannot dehumanise those who carry out despicable actions. It is much easier said than done, but we must strive to meet hatred with love. With God, there is always forgiveness; there is always hope.
‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ (Martin Luther King Jr)  – Tríona Doherty

(from Intercom)

 

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Today’s Mass Readings
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from our Newsletter...
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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
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Yesterday’s dead,
Tomorrow’s unborn,
So there’s nothing to fear
And nothing to mourn.
For all that is past
And all that has been
Can never return
To be lived once again.
And what lies ahead
Or the things that will be
Are still in God’s hands
So it is not up to me
To live in the future
That is God’s great unknown,
For the past and the present
God claims for His own.
So all I need do
Is to live for Today
And trust God to show me
The truth and the way.
For it’s only the memory
Of things that have been
And expecting tomorrow
To bring trouble again
That fills my today,
Which God wants to bless,
With uncertain fears
And borrowed distress.
For all I need live for
Is this one little minute,
For life’s here and now
And eternity’s in it.
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(Helen Steiner Rice)

 

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