Saturday of the First Week of Lent

 A Lenten Renewal:
Reflections on the Mass readings in light of our daily lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
Today Jesus gives us some insight into what it means to be God. The passage begins, Love your enemies (Mt 5:43-48). 
Imagine his followers hearing it for the first time, when they had been taught from childhood, Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.
Now, that was just good common sense, wasn’t it?     
No, Jesus says, it’s not God’s way. Pray for those who persecute you. If you are only good to the good, what virtue is there in that? God makes rain fall on the fields of good people and bad people. Then Jesus sums it up for us: Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Yes, the perfect thing to do is forgive those who hurt us. But sometimes that seems impossible. Still, it appears from this passage that maybe we have to forgive people for not being God…. I’ve found that if I try to forgive someone for hurting me, often I can’t make myself do it. But if I decide to forgive the person for not being God, that brings me great peace. Because I would like everyone do that for me.
Certainly we aren’t God. But we come from Him, and we have been created in His image. Maybe people have a right to expect us to be perfect. But we won’t measure up. So what did Jesus mean when He told us to be perfect as God is perfect? Let’s agree on this: He wants us to be as close to Him in the way we respond to others as is humanly possible. Will He settle for that?  I hope so. It’s the best we can do.
And I think I can promise you this on behalf of Jesus: that when you get to heaven and stand before your Father ready to hear the judgment, and He asks, Did you try to be perfect like God? then Jesus will come to stand beside you and He will vouch for you. He’ll say to His Father, We must forgive this soul for not being God, because he(she) often forgave others for the same fault.
God’s name is Mercy.  He wants it to be ours, too.
God bless you. 
“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

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