Posted by: livingscripture | February 24, 2018

First Saturday of Lent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Saturday of Lent, February 24, 2018

WORD of the DAY  

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 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.  (Matthew 5, 44-45)

How shall I live this Word?

Matthew in his Gospel is preoccupied with making clear to the disciples the concept of justice according to Jesus.  In fact, He says if “your justice is not greater than that of the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (5: 16) The text here presents us with a love that is absolutely opposed to egocentric possessiveness.  The Old Testament did not prescribe hating one’s enemy.  Only in the community of Qumran, which is a sect that taught that anyone who did not belong to it would be destined to eternal darkness and divine punishment.

The Word of Jesus is totally different!  He opens to vast horizons of belonging not only for those who love their neighbor, but to an even higher goal: that of loving our enemies and persecutors as well.

Lord, the goal is high!  However, You not only teach me this as the Son of the Heavenly Father who lets it rain on the just and on the unjust; You not only communicate the words of life to me, but You teach me even as You were dying to forgive as You did.

The Message of Norman Cousins, an American Author

Life is a beautiful adventure if we know how to forgive.

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