READINGS for 2009-03-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“… love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:44
Of all Christianity’s teachings, “loving your enemies” is one of the most striking to me. In contrast to what others may think, it’s one of the most sensible and logical commands. Why? Exactly because of how Jesus, our Lord, said it. Think about it. If you would only love those who love you — those who treat you well and are kind and nice to you — then what’s unusual about that? Even the pagans do that! You don’t have to be a Christian to act that way.
So what will set a Christian apart from the rest? Loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.
It’s tough. But Jesus who said it, did it. He died for us while we were still sinners. He loved us while we were still “enemies.” In fact, His literal enemies who crucified Him He forgave on the cross!
There’s the big difference. That’s what sets us apart!
Want to make the big difference? Go, call or text someone who is persecuting you. Turn that enemy into a friend and see that Christianity works!Alvin Barcelona
Is there someone persecuting you? Pray for him now. Are you persecuting someone? Ask for forgiveness now.
Dear Lord, I pray for those who persecute me. Help me to turn them into my friends again. And if I am the one persecuting someone, forgive me. Let me go to that person and ask for forgiveness. Amen.


If we seek to exalt ourselves, all we will accomplish is the exact opposite — humiliation. In our own strength, we cannot prevail against the powers of sin; in God’s strength, and according to His will, all things are possible to His glory. Let us never retain the glory for ourselves but give credit to where it is due — to God who is Lord of all.
Deuteronomy 26:16-19
16 Moses spoke to the people, saying: “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. 17 Today you are making this agreement with the LORD: he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice. 18 And today the LORD is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you; and provided you keep all his commandments, 19 he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God, as he promised.”
Psalm 119:1-2. 4-5. 7-8
R: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
1 Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart. (R) 4 You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. 5 Oh, that I might be firm in the ways of keeping your statutes! (R) 7 I will give you thanks with an upright heart, when I have learned your just ordinances. 8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me. (R)
The lives of the martyrs captures something of the perfection of faith in that they are willing to die for what they believe. Why? Because they know that not even death can take away their relationship with God. Saints Perpetua and Felicity, whose feasts we celebrate today, were basically slaughtered by soldiers in the Arena. I cannot even begin to imagine what the Emperor thought he was achieving in doing this; but I do know that God has given us a wonderful example of the power of faith to overcome an adverse situation.
Matthew 5:43-48
43 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 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. 46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
my reflections
think: Let us never retain the glory for ourselves but give credit to where it is due — to God who is Lord of all.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


The challenge of loVe
The words of our Lord Jesus Christ,“I love you. The Father loves you and God created you out of love,” are indeed comforting. These very words please us simply because they give us an assurance that God is always there to love us. He is always with us. The words serve as our way towards eternal life. However, these words do not merely please us but they also challenge us in our daily lives as human persons loved by God. The assurance that we are loved challenges us to love others in return. We are loved by God and we are also called to love. We are blessed, so we are also called to be a blessing for others. It is a two-way love story between God and us, between me and God.
Our Gospel for today speaks about “love.” It presents us two things, namely God’s love and the challenge of love. We are asked by Jesus to become perfect like the Father. Is it possible for us, limited human beings, to become perfect as the Father? Perhaps the answer is “yes,” because we are loved by God. We are loved so that we may be able to know what love is all about. And we may learn how to express that love. Therefore, we can be perfect as the Father when we put our love into God’s love and love like Him. How does God love? God’s love is unlimited. He makes the sun shine on the good and the bad. He gives rain to those who do evil and good. God’s love is for everybody.
The challenge now of love is to love God above all and to love your neighbor as Jesus loves you. Sisters and brothers in Christ, we are asked to share and express the love that we feel from God not only to our friends but also to our enemies. We are challenged to love not only the people who love us but also the people who hate us. We are asked to be a lover like God who loves us and embraces us wholeheartedly with our sins, weaknesses and wounds. God did not love only His Son and His Holy Spirit but rather He also loves us. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Reflection Question:
Do I experience God’s love in my life? When did I share that love to my neighbor especially to the persons whom I hate?
Lord, I will give what You want me to give. I will do what You want me to do. I will go wherever You want me to go. I will be what You want me to be and I will love whom You want me to  love. Amen.
Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs, pray for us.

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