Friday, March 15, 2019
SATURDAY, 1st Week of Lent
March 16, 2019 – SATURDAY, 1st Week of Lent /
St. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Priest
Dt 26: 16 – 19 / Mt 5: 43 – 48
Canonized by Pope Francis on 16 October 2016, St. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero (1840 – 1914), known as the Argentinian "Gaucho Priest," traveled by mule in his vast parish to be close to his parishioners.
From the 1st Reading: Dt 26: 18 – 19
Today, Yahweh has declared to you that you will be his very own people even as he had promised you, and you must obey all his commandments. He, for his part, will give you honor, renown and glory, and set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will become a nation consecrated to Yahweh, your God as he has declared.
Gospel Reading: Mt 5: 43 – 48
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.
"If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what
is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? For your part you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect."
It is so easy for us to love those who are lovable and who love us in return.
In the Gospel reading Jesus extends the commandment "to love your neighbor" to "your enemies" and to "those who persecute you." Speaking with the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, he recalls to them the rule to "love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy." He clearly states this is not enough: for even tax-collectors and pagans do the same.
Jesus teaches us to love all, even the unlovable, even those who have betrayed us, those who have hurt us and taken advantage of us. Love of neighbor is much related to forgiveness of those who have offended us, those who have transgressed against us. This comes from our Lord who at the cross prayed, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.." (Lk 23: 34)
We can ask who our friends are: no problem about loving them and being friendly and good to them. How about those we do not particularly like? How can we show them love and friendship? How about those who have wronged us? Can we forgive them and show them love and friendship? Hopefully we can do much better than the tax-collectors and pagans mentioned by our Lord!
And let us heed the Lord's words, "As for you, be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Rhea R. Reyes
Marvin, Christine and Mark Christopher Caranto
Have a good day!
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