Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Book of Deuteronomy 26:16-19, Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8, & Matthew 5:43-48
The Christian message is, in contemporary terms, counter-cultural. Jesus' command, namely to love your enemies and pray for your persecutors, flies in the face of the world in which we live. Our Lord proclaims that if we are to be children of God, we need to go the extra mile. In terms of current language, we need to push the envelope out of our comfort zone. It is pretty easy to love our family and those closest to us. The challenge is extending those same kindnesses to those who show us ill will.
I once heard that when you are meeting with someone that upsets you or with whom you are uncomfortable, the secret is to pray to that person's patron saint. When you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Most of us would pray to our patron saint, guardian angel, or Mary to intercede so we are granted the grace to cope with the situation. Perhaps by praying to the other's patron saint, we are extending love to them. At the very least, it forces us to take a step back and see them in a different light.
I believe the bottom line is clear; we are all loved and blessed by God. Our rewards are abundant, and our challenge is straightforward; we are to love in the same way we are loved— without judgment and without expectation of being loved in return. No one ever said relationships are easy— the promise is that we are not alone!
Question of the Day: How will you become ready to accept the changes in today's society that brings happiness to the lives of everyone you meet?
Prayer: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect, says the Lord." (Mt. 5:48)