Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Thursday 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1 Cor 8: 1b-7, 11-13 / Ps 139: 1b-3, 13-14ab, 23-24 / Lk 6: 27-38
Reading: 1 Cor 8: 1b-7, 11-13
We know that all of us have knowledge but knowledge puffs up, while love builds. If anyone thinks that he has knowledge, he does not yet know as he should know, but if someone loves (God), he has been known (by God). Can we, then, eat meat from offerings to the idols? We know that an idol is without existence and that there is no God but one. People speak indeed of other gods in heaven and on earth and, in this sense, there are many gods and lords. Yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom everything comes, and to whom we go. And there is one Lord, Christ Jesus, through whom everything exists and through him we exist. Not everyone, however, has that knowledge. For some persons, who until recently took the idols seriously, that food remains linked to the idol and eating of it stains their conscience which is unformed. Then with your knowledge you would have caused your weak brother or sister to perish, the one for whom Christ died. When you disturb the weak conscience of your brother or sister and sin against them, you sin against Christ himself. Therefore, if any food will bring my brother to sin, I shall never eat this food lest my brother or sister fall.
Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
But I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; from the one who takes your coat, do not keep back your shirt. Give to the one who asks and if anyone has taken something from you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have others do to you. If you love only those who love you, what kind of graciousness is yours? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do favors to those who are good to you, what kind of graciousness is yours? Even sinners do the same. If you lend only when you expect to receive, what kind of graciousness is yours? For sinners also lend to sinners, expecting to receive something in return. But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend when there is nothing to expect in return. Then will your reward be great and you will be sons and daughters of the Most High. For he is kind towards the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Don't be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back."
This is one of the hardest teachings in the bible! Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who treat you badly! As human beings we immediately say this is very hard to do. But as followers of Christ, we need to trust and obey him by having a total change of attitude and way of thinking and behaving when dealing with others and establishing relationships.
Our personal struggle with this teaching was challenged when we had an experience with one of our relatives who owed us a substantial amount of money from way back and had no intention of paying the debt. Although hurt, nevertheless, we forgave him and our relationship improved. Recently, this relative fell into a financial trouble again and needed money for his children's tuition. We were willing to help, but since he did not simplify his lifestyle even if he is in a bind, common sense seemed to dictate to us to stop helping him. But being Christians, we must not only help in material things but also and more importantly with his conversion from the old life of bad habits to a reformed one of doing God's will. Condemnation will not change things; only love and care.
We will only be able to love our enemies if we let Jesus live in our hearts. Jesus loved us unconditionally. Nobody is perfect, us included. We need God's grace and mercy to be humble and to do his will.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing.
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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