Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday of the First Week
Today’s Gospel reading provides us with a difficult task, one that I’ve heard proclaimed many times before but still struggle with on a daily basis. We are instructed by Jesus to love our enemies the same way we love our friends and family. This sets us apart from those who do not strive to do God’s work on earth and love only those who love them in return. This command has particular resonance for me during the Lenten season. Every week leading up to Easter Sunday, I hear of the trials and tribulations Jesus endured from those who did not believe His message. It would be easy to see these wrongs as a reason allow hate to pervade our thoughts and actions, both against those who wronged Jesus and those who wrong us in our daily lives. However, we must remember why Jesus endured this suffering and died on the cross – so all of us, including those who persecuted Him, would be saved. Jesus models unconditional love when He commands us to love our enemies and to pray for them. When hatred and anger seem to encompass my life, I remember the sacrifice Jesus made for me, and for all of us. We strive to follow the commandments sent down to us from God with the promise of eternal life. Although this is easier said than done, with Jesus as my model, I happily strive to live every day like Jesus would. To live like this would be perfect; however, we are not perfect beings and will make mistakes. When I acknowledge this, I remember that God will be there when I fall to help lead and guide me.  Especially during Lent, let us remember to live emulating Jesus. With the message of today’s Gospel to love our enemies, we joyfully strive to follow the model of love Jesus provides for us to follow.
Gracious Lord, help us to live by the example of Your loving Son and love those who have wronged us. With Your guidance, help us to live this Lenten season as Jesus did, with love for both our neighbors and enemies.

Marci Wood, ‘14

First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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