Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday of the First Week
“You are to be a people peculiarly his own.”  “You are to be a people sacred to the Lord.”   In the readings today, we are asked to be peculiar—to love our enemies. We are called to be sacredly unusual—to pray for those who persecute us.  What an exciting and seemingly impossible charge.

Today’s readings remind us of our agreement.  They point to this peculiar and unusual holy path—to care even for those who don’t seem to care at all.  No parsing allowed. No discrimination.  Instead, we are to be like the sun and the rain by bestowing our true nature upon everyone.  Our true nature is Christ’s love.

Yet, I find it hard to shine upon the faces of darkness I encounter in this world.  I can’t seem to offer refreshing rain to those who offer nothing but desert land.  Yet I must try.  Again and again each day as I fail, I must then begin anew by cultivating curiosity in the face of my tendency to judge.  Every day I must renew my vow to inquire with kindness into the hearts of those I truly do not understand.   Locally. Globally.  This is my charge.

This means wondering about, instead of cursing, at the person who cuts me off in heavy traffic.  This means being curious about the pain someone seems to be holding who shoves ahead and cuts me off in the grocery line.   Am I capable of reading The New York Times with more compassion, with more care, a softer gaze, a less critical eye? May I soften the blow I hold in my mind against those who seem so cruel and begin at least to wonder rather “why”? 

Dear Lord, may I walk gently with You by my side. Help me to resist temptation to lay a hurried, heartless claim.  May You live in my heart and may I live in Yours.  With You and through You, before You and in You, may I be sacredly peculiar in all of Your ways.  Amen. 

Toni Messuri, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs


First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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