(Day for the Unemployed)
23rd February 2020

Dear Parishioner,

The last two antitheses offered in the Sermon on the Mount deal with love of enemies. We should not look at "an eye for an eye" as an inordinately strict punishment. It is actually meant to limit acts of revenge by making sure the punishment is not excessive but fits the crime. However, Jesus asks his followers to take a different approach by resisting retaliation altogether. Those who are called to the Kingdom of Heaven are to go beyond the way the world usually works and serve God's kingdom here on earth.

The other difficult demand of those who are called to the kingdom is to embrace the enemy. There is no command in the Old Testament to hate individuals in a personal or vindictive way. But there is a religious stance that calls one to hate evil and to distance oneself from those who participate in evil. In contrast, Matthew emphasizes that love of God and love of neighbour are the fundamental commands on which all else depend. Because God's love is unconditional, we are to strive to love as God does, though, of course, it is challenging.

The key is in the final verse. We are to be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect. Matthew uses the Greek word telos, which is probably better translated here as "complete". We are not to be perfect as in doing everything correctly, that is, as in being absolutely morally correct. We are to be perfect as in striving to reach the completeness we are called to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Attempting to love our enemies is part of striving for that completeness.

In two days' time we are entering in to the season of lent. Let us connect the need to forgive and to love everyone to this season of lent. Let us reconcile with ourselves, with our God and with our fellow neighbours so that we may unite with our God, which is our ultimate call.

May you all have a blessed season of Lent.


Fr Sabu Pariyadan RCJ


Please remember to pray for:

Daily for the sick clergy of our Diocese

The sick and housebound

Those who have recently died: Fr John Garrett, Bernard Storkey, Fiona McIntosh

Years Mind:
Monday: Canon Aloysius Roche, Fr Gerard Murphy
Wednesday: Mgr Canon Jules van Meenen, Fr Clifford Beercroft
Thursday: Fr David Chapman
Friday: Fr John Wall

Next Sunday: First Sunday of Lent (A)

First Reading: Genesis 2:7-9,3:1-7,19:1-2,17-18
The creation of sin of our first parents.

Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19
However great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater.

Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus fasts for forty days and is tempted.