February 23, 2020: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
One of this Sunday’s core passages from the Gospel runs:
You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44)
In their reflection on the readings of the day, the Collegeville Composers observed that the 1st Reading ends with
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
and thus were drawn to a parallel passage in Luke 10:27-28:
[The scholar of the law] said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” [Jesus] replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
which itself quotes from Leviticus 19:18, the ending of today’s 1st Reading.
Thus the antiphon came into being, coupled with verses from the opening of Psalm 119.
As we process to receive the Lord, we are called to remember the communal nature of the act of receiving. Personally loving God and Jesus is not enough; we must also include all our neighbours in the procession in the embrace of our love.