Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time
February 22-23, 2020
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
So, who is my neighbor?
Well, there’s the lady who lives in the house next door (who complains about my dog barking); the person who sits next to me on the couch in the evening (who can’t seem to find the hamper when he takes off his dirty socks);my coworker (who hums all day and makes it hard for me to concentrate); the child who sits behind me at Mass (and kicks the back of my pew); the person standing behind me in the checkout line at the grocery store (who keeps nudging me with their cart)-and that’s just for starters.
So many people! So much responsibility! How in the world am I supposed to love all these people? It seems they’re all just here to drive me crazy!
But wait – didn’t the lady who lives next door take in the package off my porch that day when it was raining? And didn’t my husband offer to clean up the kitchen the other night when I was so tired? And didn’t the person who sits next to me at work help me with that project that was stressing me out? And doesn’t the child behind me at Mass shake my hand enthusiastically at the sign of peace? And didn’t the person behind me in the checkout line give me some coupons they weren’t using?
So, maybe it’s just all about my attitude and my perspective. Maybe if I look for the positive in the people around me, it will be easier to live with their imperfections. Maybe if I try to find ways to make other people’s days a little brighter, I’ll be too busy to notice the little irritations. Maybe if I pray for each of my neighbors by name – asking the God who created them and loves them unconditionally to bless them, maybe that same God will grant me the grace to see my neighbor through his eyes – and then, loving my neighbor will be like second-nature.
I think I’ll start with the lady next door.