Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 17:5-8, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20,& Luke 6:17, 20-26
Jesus and Mary, Our Perfect Valentines
On the Feast of the Martyr, Saint Valentine, ask yourself, “Who loves me faithfully, is willing to pay the price of my sins, and forever forgives and encourages me to become the best version of myself?”
As priests, parents, and teachers, we do our best, but often we can be the source of our suffering. Worldly pursuits and desires for wealth, status, advancement, and alike deceive us into placing our hope in people and things rather than our Lord. This life is fading, and only God can offer us true happiness that begins now but only reaches perfection in heaven.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to the crowd of disciples by giving examples of those who are blessed and those who experience woe. Jeremiah proclaims the Lord’s message, “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings...Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” Saint Paul asserts that if Jesus had not risen from the dead, then Corinthians’ faith would be in vain. Our Risen Lord invites us to surrender our selfish minds and sinful hearts to Him so that God’s Powerful Spirit (GPS) can purify and empower us to become a blessing to all.
Our Catholic faith offers us the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary as our perfect valentines. When arrested for being a Christian, Valentine spent his time in prison sending letters to persecuted Christians to persevere in their belief. True love wills the good of the other, even our enemies. For on the Cross, Jesus redeemed all of us. If we believe we are blessed, we can love, forgive, and be compassionate and caring. Imagine how peaceful and joyful our world be if we believe we are the living and loving presence of Jesus and Mary for our family and friends. Examine your conscience to see if you are conveying a blessing or curse? Our Church offers us grace and peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Abbot Domenic advised me to pray this until I am convinced that I am a blessing: “O Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything!”
— Msgr. Ralph Chieffo
See Deacon Anthony's Sunday Reflection in our bulletin.