Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 8:1-9, Psalm 146:2, 5-6, 7, 8-9, & Matthew 5:43-48
Today’s scripture readings are familiar and challenging. Saint Paul praises the church in Macedonia, where the members “spontaneously” give beyond their means and beg insistently to be allowed to be servants. The psalmist praises God as the Lord who “raises up those who were bowed down.” In the Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew, Jesus commands us to “love your enemies” and to “pray for those who persecute you” because “He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good.”
Our Lord Jesus sure knows how to upset the apple cart, doesn’t He? Christ’s view is so different from the world in which He lived. Where is the “you have to earn it?” Where is the “you get what you deserve?” In our world, we are encouraged to live within our means—climb and claw our way to the top. Good Saint Paul praises people who give more than they can afford and want to become servants to the “holy ones.” I do my best to try to model myself after Christ. However, being a mere human, I sometimes fall into the same pitfalls that most probably affect all of us; I pick up a newspaper and get angry and become judgmental. Then I begin to pray, and, lo and behold, Jesus brings me right back to His teachings. (Please re-read today’s Gospel narrative.)
Friends, before I completed this reflection, I needed to run an errand. As I returned to my office, I passed a used car lot and read a sign that reminded me of how Christ loves us. The sign read, “Good credit, no credit, bad credit, you can be approved!” One of the glories of salvation is that it is a gift, and anyone can be approved. May God be praised for His infinite kindness and gentle mercy that catches each of us when we fall.
Question of the Day: How will you become a servant to others?
Prayer: “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”