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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Feb. 23, 2014

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

February 23, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A. Readings:

1) Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18

Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13

2) 1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48

I will admit that I am not very susceptible to external motivation. My wife, on the other hand, can hear an inspiring story and be filled with new energy and motivation to make changes in her life.

Usually, I hear those stories and think, "Aw, that's nice," and that is about as far as it goes. But every once in a while inspiration breaks through my thick head.

My friend Mike posts on Facebook nearly every day that he is working out. Often that post comes at midnight or even later. I am always shocked at his commitment to his workouts. I usually see these posts when I am sitting on the couch, watching TV and checking Facebook between handfuls of potato chips.

But day after day, month after month I have seen his commitment and the results of his hard work, and it is paying off in my life, as I am making more trips to the gym -- not daily, but it's a start.

Another source of inspiration comes to me from a guy named Steve. He travels the country as a singer and keynote speaker for youth conferences. He is extremely inspiring, but his greatest impact on me is through short videos of him with his ukulele, singing to his wife or a short song to Jesus.

I do not know what it is about these videos that challenges me to be a better, more heartfelt minister, husband and friend.

These kinds of inspirations came to mind when I read from this week's readings: "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy," and, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Admittedly, Mike's and Steve's examples are more achievable than being as perfect or as holy as God. But I think part of what the authors of Leviticus and Matthew are trying to say is that we are going to be influenced by whomever we spend time with and by whomever we want to imitate. So why not choose people who call us to be better and, furthermore, why not strive to be more like the one in whose image we all are created?


Who are people who inspire you? In what ways can you be holy and perfect as God is? What are the biggest obstacles to achieving this?


"Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." -- Leviticus 19:2


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