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Dear friends, 

This is the last Sunday before Lent and so we say goodbye to the letter to the Corinthians. (When we resume ordinary time in June, we will start reading from the letter to the Romans.) In the excerpt offered for this Sunday, there is plenty to reflect on. The opening paragraph makes a deep claim about every human being: you are the temple of God's Holy Spirit. With all the attention on appearance, possessions and social status, perhaps there is space for a "spirituality" not only of the body but of the human person. "The body means more than clothing..."

See below for information on Lent 2020. 

Sunday 7A20 (23 February 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (Portable)

If you've never tried the Gospel in the "portable" format, why not give it a try? It is intended for people "on the go". 

Pope Francis on today's Gospel reading

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 5:38-48) – one of those pages that expresses best the Christian “revolution” – Jesus shows the way of true justice through the law of love, which surmounts that of retaliation, namely, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This ancient rule imposed inflicting on transgressors punishments equivalent to the damages caused: death to one who killed, amputation to one who wounded someone, and so on. Jesus does not ask His disciples to suffer evil, rather, He asks them to react, but not with another evil, but with goodness. Only thus is the chain of evil broken: one evil leads to another evil, another evil leads to another evil …  This chain of evil is broken, and things truly change. Evil, in fact, is a “void,” a void of goodness, and it cannot be filled with another void, but only with “fullness,” namely, with goodness. Reprisals never lead to the resolution of conflicts. “You did it to me, I’ll do it to you”: this never resolves a conflict, nor is it Christian.

For Jesus the rejection of violence can also imply giving up a legitimate right; and He gives some examples: to give the other cheek, to give one’s cloak or one’s money, to accept other sacrifices (cf. vv. 39-42). However, this renunciation does not mean that the demands of justice are ignored or contradicted; on the contrary, Christian love, which manifests itself in a special way in mercy, represents a higher realization of justice. What Jesus wants to teach us is the clear distinction we must make between justice and retaliation – to distinguish between justice and retaliation. Retaliation is never just; we are permitted to ask for justice; it is our duty to practice justice. Instead, we are prohibited from vindicating ourselves and from fomenting retaliation in some way, in as much as <it is an> expression of hatred and of violence.

Looking forward to Lent 2020
For Lent 2020, a programme entitled "Christ our Light" will be offered in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral (Dublin) on Wednesdays @ 11.15, starting on Ash Wednesday. Mass is available beforehand at 10.30 and afterwards at 12.45. The presentations will open up the Sunday readings of Lent. 

Also for Lent 2020, the second volume of Hearers of the Wordis now available . The period covered is Lent 2020 and Holy Week up to the Easter Vigil. It may be purchased directly from Messenger publications or on Amazon. NB the cover is (so far) not correct on Amazon. It should also be available soon at Veritas (Dublin, Cork and online).  A volume for Easter and Pentecost is in preparation. 

Wishing you all every blessing. 


Dr Kieran J. O'Mahony OSA
Biblical Studies Coordinator
Holy Cross Diocesan Centre

World Meeting of Families




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