OUR ULTIMATE CALL

Friday 24th March – Friday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Mark 12:28-34

OUR ULTIMATE CALL

When we think of the word “Love” we often look at it in the context of feelings. Loving someone could easily amount in our thinking, to having nice feelings and emotions towards the person. While love certainly does involve emotions, it is much more than that. It is simply a decision to will the good of the other person without thinking of any benefits to oneself. We love for the sake of the other.

It is only as we examine love in this context that we can truly embrace the first commandment as Christ clearly expresses it today: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength…” We love God not because of the gifts He gives us but just because He is God, our creator, our source of life. Our love for God is a call to obedience to Him. It is a call to hold on to his commands, regardless of what the world around us calls us to.

Our love for God also directly calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Our ultimate call as Christians is that of unconditional love. It is a call to find God in the least of our brethren, in our enemies, in societies outcasts and to love them for whom they are: precious children of God. Beloved, let us turn to the Lord today and ask Him for renewed grace so that we may truly love God by living in obedience to him and love our brethren regardless of how difficult it may be to do so.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please pour out your love into my heart today. Let me look up to the cross and be reminded that love means total self-giving. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 351 – Aren’t the Ten Commandments outmoded?

No, the Ten Commandments are by no means the product of a particular time. They express man’s fundamental obligations toward God and neighbor, which are always and everywhere valid.

Hide a Treasure: “But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Hosea 14: 2-10; Ps 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Mk 12: 28-34;

GO AND DO THE SAME YOURSELF

Monday 5th October – Monday of the 27th week of the year

Reflection: Luke 10: 25-37

GO AND DO THE SAME YOURSELF

It is sad to know that we Christians often fail to put ourselves in the shoes of those on the receiving end of the adversity of this world. We are blind to the truth that it is only a privilege rather than a right if we are not overrun with difficulties. The priest and Levite, despite their religious affiliation, did not realize that they could have been the ones lying on the road but for God’s grace. Unexpectedly, a Samaritan who ordinarily should have nothing to do with a Jew and whom the Jews considered to be unbelievers took compassion on the helpless man and stopped to help him.

The multiplying number of fraudulent acts committed by people pretending to be in need has hardened many Christians, rendering us uncompassionate. However we should not be deterred by these occurrences but with care, trust in God and filled with the love of Christ and of our neighbours, should show mercy. To shrink from showing compassion to others is to shrink from our Christian identity and responsibility. Our Lord said to St. Faustina- ‘I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it. (Diary 742)’

Like the Good Samaritan, we are called to:

  • Step forward to help others in need without fear, reluctance or hesitation.
  • Use our resources – money, time, energy and so on to reach out to those in need.

“Love the poor, and do not turn your back on them, for if you turn your back on the poor, you turn your back on Christ. He made himself hungry, naked, homeless, so that you and I would have an opportunity to love him.” Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Just like he told the lawyer in today’s gospel reading, Christ tells you and I: “Go and do the same yourself.”

PRAYER: O God, fount of love and holiness, pour your love into my heart that in loving my neighbour, I may show my great love for you and that your love may be brought to perfection in me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 449 – What significance do the poor have for Christians?

Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 GNB

Today’s readings: Jonah 1:1- 2:1, 11; Jonah 2: 3-5,8 (canticle); Luke 10:25-37

LOVE: OBEYING GOD’S COMMAND

Saturday 14th March – Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Hosea 5: 15- 6: 6

LOVE: OBEYING GOD’S COMMAND

“God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him in the next” This is the answer to the question: “Why did God make you?” As simple as this appears, it is a spiritual truth that summarizes the whole of God’s commandments. Though, it is often committed to memory, it is hardly given deep thought. God, who is Love, created us in this His image, thus, He created us for love. “Anyone that loves is born of God and he knows God.” (1 John 4:7). When we Love God in our neighbour, we reflect this Divine heritage and this pleases God.

God tells us through the prophet Hosea in today’s first reading that all God wants from us is that we love Him (Hosea 6:6). What is this “Love” that makes all the difference? St. Paul gives an answer in 1 Cor 13:4-7. Love is kindness shown to people outside your “clique”. Love is humbly admitting that God’s grace is the only reason you still breathe. Love is taking no pleasure in the sorrow of others. Love is absolute faith in God. Love is unconditional. Love is the reason God made Christ; who was sinless, to bear all our transgressions so that we might be put right through Him.

Beloved, to love is to obey God’s commands, and His commands are not difficult, since we rely on Him for grace (1 John 5:3). Bring God an offering of love today; He earnestly desires it.

PRAYER: Dear God, teach me to love you more each day. Make my love perfect. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 516 – How can people say “Father” to God if they have been tormented or abandoned by their earthly father / their earthly parents?

Even individuals who have been raped by their own father can learn to pray the Our Father. Often it is their task in life to allow themselves to experience a love that was cruelly refused them by others but that nevertheless exists in a marvelous way, beyond all human imagining.

HIDE A TREASURE: “May you come to know His love – although it can never be fully known – and so be completely filled with the very nature of God” Ephesians 3: 19 GNB

Readings for Today: Hosea 5:15- 6:6; Psalm 51: 3-4, 18-21; Luke 18:9-14