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Surprising Kindness
Epiphany 7 | Ordinary Time 7

Anna Shirey

Matthew 5:38-48

Object: none


First Thoughts: Once again we are faced with Jesus' radical teaching of compassion and hospitality, teachings specifically extended to those people who wish us harm. This teaching is challenging for a couple of reasons. First, it just feels counterintuitive to be kind to someone who is being unkind to us. Second, we might think it's even unwise. Offering compassion is really an act of opening our hearts, which can feel vulnerable and dangerous. What happens if that person ridicules us, rejects us, or attacks us when our hearts are exposed in this way? I think this is a critical teaching point in the lesson. Aside from the obvious teaching that we should simply do good in the world, Jesus is also showing us something important about our essential nature. We think our hearts are fragile and delicate, ...

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