This year is unusual because we are in year C and there are 7 Sundays after the Epiphany (because Easter is laaate). We have not had a 7th Sunday after the Epiphany in year C since 2001. How is that for trivia information? All of this long introduction is to tell you that the gospel lesson for this Sunday is Luke 6:27-38. It has NOT been read in worship since 2001 (presuming my calculations are correct.)
Devotion - Luke 6:27 "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
As many of you know, I lead a course on Louise Penny's mystery series at William and Mary's life-long learning school. A book that I am presenting on Wednesday, deals with the friction between the "Anglo-files" and the "Franco files" that still exists to this day. In 1759 a pivotal battle of the 7 Years War took place on the Plains of Abraham. Due to the cunning of the British General Wolfe, or the mistake of French General Montcalm, Quebec City fell, and the British took over from the French. 260 years have passed and still there is discord over language and customs. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you... " says Jesus.
At first this controversy is easy to discount because we are not a part of THIS discord. However, take a few moments of quiet reflection and I am sure that each of us has our backpack filled with contentious memories, hurts that fester, prejudices. I think that the first step is to be more generous with our love and spend less time and memory with what/who is wrong.
The prayer for this Sunday is: Oh Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace, that where there is hatred, we may sow love, where there is injury, pardon, and where there is despair, hope. Grant, O Divine Master, that we may seek to console, to understand and to love in your name. Amen
Blessings to you and JOY,