Saturday, February 23, 2013
Good morning. Praised by Jesus Christ! Why have I not thought of this kind of introduction to the postings on this blog? Could there be a better greeting from me to you? Please say a prayer for a friend who has followed this blog (me!) since it was first started almost ten years ago. She is currently in her late 80s. At the moment she is in Georgetown Hospital (DC) following brain surgery. She will be most grateful. Get well soon.
Today's readings are familiar and thus should be given a slow reading to garner what the writer is giving us. The first reading is from Deuteronomy, what might be called the OT "book of rules" for the Jewish people. For us today it might be considered a follow-up to the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. In a way it is Moses speaking to all generations seeking to follow God's will. Moses shares with his flock and us today God's will for us especially as regards the 10 Commandments.
This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
In the second reading, Jesus said to those around him:
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
Wouldn't you consider this command from the Son of God who has entrusted to St. Peter and to us the challenge to always carry out the will of God and to be a cross that many in our society, and perhaps ourselves, have to carry? Why these particular words and this challenge? Can you listen to news broadcasts, talk shows, the actions of leaders in many positions of authority -- from these sources comes so much hatred and bitterness in our society today and be at peace?
As I have preached recently, "Get it done! Get it over with!" What is this "it"? "It" is the Easter duty of confession, reconciliation with God for our sins. Get that done with in the first two weeks of Lent and "enjoy" the remainder of Lent spending time with Jesus. Don't dig up old sins that have been confessed even though at times the thought of some earlier actions may always hurt or embarrass. Make a good confession about where you are at THIS time in your life. Then, then get to know the Jesus you will meet again in the gospels and other readings leading up to the great day of the Resurrection. Focus on Jesus and what a friend he wants to be for you. Look at yourself in one of the mirrors in your home. Stare at yourself for a moment. This is what Jesus sees each day when he looks at you ... and he does! Imagine your feelings if you heard his voice say to you, "John/Mary, do you know how much I love you? You are so loved by my Father, the Holy Spirit and me? Look at yourself: you are God's marvelous creation. You may have been scarred somewhat by sin, but now, look, it is my love that has healed your errors, your sins. You are Our chosen one!" Yes, that is what you can expect to hear in your heart and soul from the one you can come to know so well in the journey of Lent. The man who will walk to Calvary is not just Jesus. It is Jesus, my friend, who loves me so much. Wow! How can I not love him in return? Every day of our lives God makes the sun rise on all of us; the rain to fall on all of us. Get to know your Jesus and drive from your heart any hatred and bitterness, crosses that are more weighty than you can truly imagine.