Responding to the Mass of the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Retaliation
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

When Lord Longford and a group of his friends founded New Bridge in 1956 they did so in order to challenge the prevailing attitude in British society of those days that those sent to prison should be ostracised as outcasts and pariahs.

Mercifully, times have changed. New Bridge is now in the vanguard of creating a second chance spirit of fresh hope for prisoners and ex-offenders.

“O Lord, please change the world – and begin with me” is a saying attributed to St Augustine of Hippo. It applies well to the pioneering, bridge crossing, bridge building spirit of today’s New Bridge Foundation.

Acknowledgements:
Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris.
Photograph: (c) 2015, Allen Morris. Installation by Berlinde De Bruyckere in Prison of Saint Anne, Avignon, France.

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