Wednesday, September 11, 2019
THURSDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
September 12, 2019 – THURSDAY, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Name of Mary
Col 3: 12 – 17 / Lk 6: 27 – 38
The celebration of the Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513. It was extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XI. It is a counterpart of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus celebrated in early January.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Col 3: 12 – 13
Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God's chosen people, holy and beloved of him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience to bear with one another and forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Lk 6: 27 – 30, 35 – 36
Jesus said, "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. . . .
"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."
One of the greatest challenges we face is to forgive our enemies, those who have harmed us. It goes against our instincts which tell us to protect and defend ourselves.
In the first reading Paul teaches the necessity of forgiving others: "As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another."
Jesus' work and mission on earth was essentially to make amends for our sinfulness. At his cross he prayed, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do." (Lk 23: 34)
His seeming defeat at the hands of his enemies was the key to his ultimate victory. His resurrection and new life have transformed the history of mankind and given new spirit and life to his apostles, all of whom save John had abandoned him at his passion and death. His example has laid the foundation for our Church today.
Do we have enemies? Are there people we cannot accept because they have harmed us? With our strength alone, it is difficult, even impossible to forgive our enemies. But with the Spirit and God's grace we can live what Christianity teaches, what Christ lived.
We should never forget what we pray at the Lord's prayer, "Father, forgive us our debts just as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us." (Mt 6: 12}
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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