READINGS for 2009-03-02
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
The man looked pitiable in his shabby clothes and melancholic air. The limp and cane added to the forlorn picture he made. He tried to go inside the jeep I was riding in but because of his limp and cane, he found it difficult to do so. So he rested at the first rung of the door then, after a while, hoisted himself up to take the nearest seat. I felt something squeeze my heart when I saw that.
So I decided to pay for his fare — just over P20 really. When I refused to take his money and told him I was going to pay for his fare, the man was surprised and thanked me profusely as I stepped down the vehicle. I didn’t really feel I was doing him a favor because I wouldn’t have been at peace unless I did that little act.
Afterwards, I realized that in a far, far greater way Jesus must have felt for us in a similar way. He felt compelled by His love and mercy to die for us on the cross, the “payment” God the Father would accept. What little we can do for our suffering brethren is just that — little — because the Lord first had pity on us, His least brother. Joy Sosoban
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” (Mother Teresa)
Lord, show me those who are in need around me and enable me to reach out with a helping hand.
The temptation to compromise on the call to holiness is ever present. This is another way of saying that sin confronts us at virtually every moment, and step, of our lives. The text from Leviticus recognizes this and exhorts us to make the decisions we know to be right and true, rather than settle for ‘second best’ compromises. In fact, this is the essence of holiness, being willing to stand for the truth even when it is the more difficult path to walk. Then, and only then, will our lives make the difference they should in the world.
Leviticus 19:1-2. 11-18
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy. 11 “You shall not steal. You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another. 12 You shall not swear falsely by my name, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD. 13 “You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer. 14 You shall not curse the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD. 15 “You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly. 16 You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD. 17 “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow man, do not incur sin because of him. 18 Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 19:8. 9. 10. 15
R: Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
7  The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. (R) 8  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (R) 9  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (R) 14  Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (R)
G O S P E L
On the Day of Judgment, we will remember all the choices we have made and be confronted by the truth. I hope and pray that in being confronted by the truth we will not be ashamed of the choices we have made. I know there are choices in my life that I do not remember with pride; maybe there are some of these in your life, too. Let us pray and strive that we will not add to such moments anymore!
31 Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
think:The temptation to compromise on the call to holiness is ever present.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Titus and Philemon
following wiTh loVe
Obedience is part of our day-to-day living. As man lives, he cannot but encounter situations that require him to oblige. When we ride a bus we observe that we follow direction. When you go to the supermarket, you follow directions. In simple things that we do, we find that there is always structure that is given to us. Do we think a structure is given just for the sake of having structure? Every structure provides an objective and with this objective, we are required to look into its meaning. How can we find this meaning? This meaning can be found in the sincerity of our heart. What I am trying to say here is that love should be present in all that we do. This is looking at obedience in the context of love.
In today’s readings, we see the commandments being given by the Lord to Moses. These commandments are the standards that man should follow. Following these commandments means following the will of God. God wills it because of His love for His people. And as God loves His people, He also wants His people to love one another. Thus, the consequence of His love is for us to love one another. In fulfillment of this, we connect this commandment to the Gospel for today. As Jesus said: “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Jesus is now inviting us to a higher level of obedience. He wants that the things that we follow and do be deeply rooted in love. Maybe, in our day-to-day living, we cannot see the relevance of what we do or what we follow. Oftentimes, we see the things that happen to us as ordinary. But with these things that we do, Jesus is inviting us to see the importance of what we are doing. Try to do things, no matter how simple, with love. Fr. Joel O. Jason
God gave us freedom to obey or reject Him. Only a human person is capable of saying “No” to God. But with the same freedom, only a human person can genuinely and sincerely say “Yes” to God. The choice is yours.
Lord, teach me to love the way You love us. Let Your love overwhelm my entire being so that through love I can understand deeply the meaning of the commandment You have given to us.
St. Chad, Bishop, pray for us.
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