Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Matthew 5:43-48
The reading from Matthew challenges us even beyond the faithfulness owed to those we love. Jesus speaks about a love that must go further than that involving those we love. He seems to be saying that loving those who love us is the easy part. We are called to do more. This last part makes me more mindful of how much I need God's love because I often find it hard to "lay in for the stay" even with those I love deeply.
Ezekiel 18:21-28; Matthew 5:20-26
I’m always a little taken aback when I read scripture readings like today…. The reading from Ezekiel seems so harsh and scary and yet the message is clear, “do what is right and just.” I am reminded of my need to pay attention to what God has told us and not to confuse civil law with God’s law(s). I thought about the death penalty when reading Ezekiel and how imposing this civil law defies God’s call for allowing people, who have committed grave acts of violence, to come to accept responsibility for their actions; to ask for forgiveness and then to choose to live according to God’s laws.
1 Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 16:13-19
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16
The feast of the Chair of Peter reminds us that our Lord gave Peter a unique role of servant leader for the Christian Community. Because of the struggles which have marred the Church over the years, there are Christian communities which reject the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, as the current occupant of the Chair of Peter. However, in some circles there is hope that our Lord's desire the night before he died that we all be one is closer than ever before: "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." [John 17:21]
Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:29-32
"When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do them; he did not carry it out." -- Jonah 3 10.
What an extraordinary sentence! It did not hit me until I had read the passage from Jonah six or seven times. Then it stopped me cold.
God . . . repented!
I have never, ever thought of God repentant. I always associated repentance with one in need of God's forgiveness and grace. The notion of God considering his love for the Ninevites, their response to Jonah and deciding that no, after all, he would not punish them somehow brings me closer to the Lord.
The 5th February 2018 was an important date for the Pallottine community in Zambia. A Health Post (a small medical clinic) was officially opened at the Convent of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters with the title “MARIAN HEALTH POST.” The facility was blessed by Fr. Tomy Luckose SAC, the rector of Pallottine local community in Westwood.
Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 6:7-15
The Lord’s Prayer is a practical “how to” of living in Love. This Love, who is God, is continually poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we remain receptive to Love and let it permeate our being it will radiate out from us and overflow to others. Then this Love who is God can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. The essence of all of Jesus’ teaching and how he asks us to pray is to be receivers and transmitters of Love.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Matthew 25:31-46
The Least among Us
This much we knew. That God finds us in solitude, sacraments, the beauty of nature, old friends, the support of family, when cynicism gives way to solidarity and action. Familiar or drab surroundings can break into color. An ordinary day can yield awareness and gratitude. I step out the door and realize that I’m alive and how much it matters to be here.
When fasting, Pope Francis said, a true Christian must be consistent, not putting himself on show, never despising others or engaging in quarrels or disagreements.
Warning against behavior that is inconsistent with the Lenten spirit, the Pope invited those present to ask themselves how they interact with others.
He reflected on the First Reading of the day that highlights how the fasting that is acceptable to the Lord aims to “release those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke”.