Thursday, February 22, 2018
FRIDAY, 1st Week of Lent
February 23, 2018 – FRIDAY, 1st Week of Lent
St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr
Ez 18: 21 - 28 I Mt 5: 20 - 26
A disciple of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, St. Polycarp (d. 155), Bishop of Smyrna (now lzmir in Turkey), was martyred at the stake by the Roman Pro Consul.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Ez 18: 25- 28
But you say: Yahweh's way is not just! Why, Israel! Is my position wrong? Is it not rather than yours is wrong? If the righteous man dies after turning from his righteous deeds and sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the wicked man does what is good and right, after turning from the sins he committed, he will save his life. He will live and not die, because he has opened his eyes and turned from the sins he had committed.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 5: 20- 26
Jesus said to the crowds, "I tell you, then, that if you are not righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
"You have heard that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister deserves to be thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar and remember that a brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with him, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
"Don't forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There you will stay, until you have paid the last penny."
In the readings today we are told to love our neighbor, however difficult this may be, however unlovable the other person may be. It is not easy to love one who has wronged us or caused us pain or ridiculed us. It is so much easier just to ignore them or forget them.
Despite a person's ugly behavior or wrongdoing against us, we are called to love him because the Lord Jesus had truly loved us. How many times have we sinned before the Lord? And how many times has the Lord forgiven us and continued to show his love for us?
To forgive is not easy; only God is truly merciful without any conditions or limits. Daily, whenever we pray the Our Father, we ask to be forgiven as we forgive our neighbor: do we really mean what we are saying? How can we ask for God's forgiveness if we are not ready to forgive those who have offended us?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Harris Javier T. Ngo
Rev. Fr. Ca!oy Reyes
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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