Grant, we pray almighty God,
that, always pondering spiritual things,
that we may carry out in word and deed
that which is pleasing to You.
In making this prayer tangible, the following reflective questions emerged:
1. What spiritual things do I always ponder?
2. What words and deeds do I want to carry out to please God?
3. What do I think is pleasing to God?
4. What are the benefits and disadvantages of pondering?
In Today's Gospel we hear the commandment to love- to love our neighbour and ourselves. As part of loving our neighbour we also need to love those whom we consider to be our enemies, since they too are loved by God and are our brother or sister in Christ.
Loving one’s enemies can be daunting, but Jesus is not telling us to have warm feelings towards everyone who has ever hurt us. In some cases, that would be truly impossible! Love is an act of the will, not a matter of emotion. Loving our enemies is a matter of reigning in our bitter thoughts, refusing to be mastered by resentment, and consciously choosing to offer people goodness and kindness.. It means choosing to pray a blessing on them, especially the right blessing of eternal life with God.
By ourselves, we cannot measure up to Jesus’ call to perfection. But we are not alone. Christ is in us, and He is our hope of glory. Ultimately, the call to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect rests in the hands of God. Only He can bring the changes in our hearts that will enable us to fulfil such a high calling. Our task is to cooperate with His transforming grace. Jesus was crucified not only for us, but also for those we resent. If we ask Him to fill our hearts with His mercy, He will bring us closer to His perfection by empowering us to choose to love and bless at all times.
God loves all people. He wants His gospel to come to each person- even our enemies. When He set us free from our sins, he commissioned us to bring the Good News of His freedom to others. Through our decisions to forgive and to love, the Holy Spirit will move freely in his world that so desperately needs him. The Spirit will enable us to pray for those who have wronged us.
We have another week of Ordinary Time before we head into Lent. If you are like me, I need to get my mind into gear as to what I will do for Lent. I have to start thinking early. However it is good to see how we are progressing so far this year at this point.
May you be blessed during the week.