Posts Tagged ‘love as God loves’


Many of us do not know what it is like to suffer poverty, waking each day wondering if there will be food on the table for us and for our loved ones. And so we go about business each day as we would every other day. If we are hungry, thirsty we just get ourselves something to eat and drink or simply have it delivered at our convenience. Do we spare a thought for others? Yes surely we will do so for our family, and from time to time, maybe the colleague at the office. But what about the poor?

You know I am often baffled by the generosity of those who struggle to put food on the table. Even with what little they have they are willing to share with someone else in need. And are just as hospitable to those who are not! Perhaps that is why Jesus is closest to those who are poor. St Paul reminds us today to dwell on the love of our Lord when he says, ” Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty.”

Abba Father in Heaven, You love Your Children equally. Just as You cause the sun to rise on us so too does rain fall on us all. Give me the heart of Your Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that I may love my brethren as You Father want me to. Amen

First reading

2 Corinthians 8:1-9 ·

The Lord Jesus was rich but became poor for your sake

Now here, brothers, is the news of the grace of God which was given in the churches in Macedonia; and of how, throughout great trials by suffering, their constant cheerfulness and their intense poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity. I can swear that they gave not only as much as they could afford, but far more, and quite spontaneously, begging and begging us for the favour of sharing in this service to the saints and, what was quite unexpected, they offered their own selves first to God and, under God, to us.

    Because of this, we have asked Titus, since he has already made a beginning, to bring this work of mercy to the same point of success among you. You always have the most of everything – of faith, of eloquence, of understanding, of keenness for any cause, and the biggest share of our affection – so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too. It is not an order that I am giving you; I am just testing the genuineness of your love against the keenness of others. Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty.

Gospel

Matthew 5:43-48

Pray for those who persecute you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’


Hypocrisy is often seen more of a condition rather than the evil that it is. And those who are gullible are easily led away from the actual truth by the hypocrisy of those they follow. It is ironic that those who identify others as hypocrites are often hypocrites themselves! Jesus our Lord calls out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes in today’s Gospel and will He not do the same for ‘Christians’ who are blinded by their own version of the truth, especially those who are in some form of authority?

Let us ask ourselves this day, do we often fail to understand the spirit of the law; that is the intent for which it is written and instead follow the letter of the law at times imposing greater restrictions than necessary? In all that we say and do are we bringing Glory to God our Heavenly Father? Do we lead others to closer to Jesus by our words, actions and every fibre of our being?

In today’s context how are we helping the elderly and sick to either attend the Eucharistic Celebration virtually or otherwise? Are we looking into how they can receive Jesus in the sacraments often, if not at least from time to time? How are we who are not in healthcare per se offering to help with the needs of the sick in these trying times? How have we extended our hands and feet in helping our parishes so that many more can return to Church? Or help in forming neighbourhood groups so that the communities of Christ Jesus our Lord, can remain grounded in His Word and live out their lives with His love, peace and joy in their hearts.

Open our hearts and minds to live more fully in Your love Lord, and let Your Word be a lamp unto our feet. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 1:10,16-20

Cease to do evil; learn to do good

Hear the word of the Lord,

you rulers of Sodom;

listen to the command of our God,

you people of Gomorrah.

‘Wash, make yourselves clean.

Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.

Cease to do evil.

Learn to do good,

search for justice,

help the oppressed,

be just to the orphan,

plead for the widow.

‘Come now, let us talk this over,

says the Lord.

Though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson,

they shall be like wool.

‘If you are willing to obey,

you shall eat the good things of the earth.

But if you persist in rebellion,

the sword shall eat you instead.’

Gospel

Matthew 23:1-12

They do not practise what they preach

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

    ‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 21, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Without loving God who is pure and unadulterated love, peace and joy how can we truly hope to love ourselves or others the way we are meant to love them. If you have not truly loved the Lord Your God then you might not fully understand what I’m talking about. Perhaps this might shed a little light….

Even though I am a cradle Catholic I did not really have a relationship with the Lord. Nor could I truly say I loved Him neither would I ever declare that He loved me. So when I would attend Mass on Sunday and folks from time to time would greet me saying, “Peace be with you brother.” I would smile nod my head but say silently under my breath, “What a bunch of fanatics! I have only one sister and so who are you calling brother?” You could say I led a rather self centred life perhaps with care only for my family. And at the time would never admit that I was quite dead inside. Always searching for love and meaning in life.

That all changed having encountered the Lord in a deep personal way! My heart bigger and fonder through Him, as He breathed new life into me. I began to see the parishioners in my Church as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. And began to form lasting familial relationships with many of them. Such that attending the Eucharistic Celebration was truly a celebration of life together as one big joyous family.

So sisters and brothers come as you are to the Lord today and everyday. Love Him and allow Him to fill you with His love and with His grace. Then together we sing His praises with joyful hearts. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 37:1-14
A vision of Israel’s death and resurrectionThe hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 22:34-40
The commandments of loveWhen the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’