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Scripture Reflections - Feb. 17
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 17: 5-8
1 Corinthians 15: 12, 16-20
Luke 6:17, 20-26

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

On this Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, God ‘s spoken word to us is warm and personal.

Even in the Old Testament reading, He urges us to view Him as a deeply loving person, who wants us to be treated as a lover who resents our ignorance and indifference to the tenderness with which He acts towards us. Even His anger towards us flows from unchanging love.

Looking at Jeremiah first, we know how hard this prophet worked to prevent the Israelites from being made slaves in Bablyon in the year 587 B.C. Why? Because they didn’t listen to Jeremiah’s plea, “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings – whose heart turns away from the Lord… he is like a barren bush in the desert.”
By contrast, “blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord…He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream…”

What a beautiful image, that God also uses in several of the psalms, It’s a message for government leaders, business people, and society in general. If we want peace, we must work for justice as God’s law directs us.
In the second reading, St. Paul tells the Corinthians never to forget how both human and divine our Savior is. Jesus rose in the flesh, and we are called to also rise in both our flesh and in our spirit. Without this doctrine, our faith is useless

In Luke’s Gospel, His Beatitudes are deeply personal. Because our faith is rooted in a person, Jesus speaks to us as persons, not as objects. He speaks to us directly. If we seek riches and hoard our possessions instead of sharing them with the poor, if we engage in evil practices for the sake of popular approval, then we risk divine punishment and loss of eternal life.

Those who go against the stream, and endure insult and abuse in this life, should “rejoice and leap for joy… for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Sound familiar? We’ll hear a lot more of the same during Lent.

The message gives us a head start on Lent, which begins in a couple of weeks.

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