Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, June 25
May We Turn to God Always Depending upon His Goodness, Always Asking Him to Watch Over and Protect Us, to Teach and Guide Us, So That We May Travel the Narrow Path of Righteousness Which Leads to an Eternity of Love, Peace and Profound Joy.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets” – words our Lord gives us in today’s Gospel.
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful world in which to live if everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, creed, political or religious persuasion, lived by the Golden Rule, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you”?
Jesus was completing His discourse, His teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, and He presented to His listeners, and to each of us as well since His words are timeless, a lesson on how we should act in our relationship with our neighbor, a lesson which has been called the Golden Rule.
We find it in our Gospel Reading for today, and also in Luke’s Gospel. We find a variation of it in the Book of Tobit from the Old Testament, and also, in some variation, in pagan religions.
It is a rule which helps guide our words and actions from becoming injurious to someone else. And it is a rule which is summed up in the “new commandment” given to us by Jesus at the Last Supper –
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Life can sometimes become a real challenge, especially when trying to live out God’s will for us in our lives amidst all the daily seductions and distractions which our secular culture throws at our senses.
For those of us who are old enough to be called “senior citizens” and can remember all the way back to our childhood, to those years long ago when we were taught to be courteous and to be respectful of our elders, they were simpler times – a time when virtue was a way of life, a time when prayer and religious values were expected in our schools and our governmental institutions, a time when we placed our hand on the Holy Bible and swore to tell the truth in our courtrooms.
It was a time when movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, “Miracle on 34th Street” with Maureen O’Hara, and so many others were the norm – and sexuality was a topic only discussed in the home, and censorship was based upon the Christian principles of decency and wholesome moral values.
Today, life is so much different, and life can be so much more difficult for our children as they grow up and mature in a society which has almost no taboos, a society which seems to have lost all sense of morality and decency!
Violence on the streets of many of our cities has become more and more common, as the respect for life and the respect for each other’s dignity has disintegrated to the point where living Christian values is considered a sign of weakness.
Embracing the culture of life from the moment of conception to natural death and upholding the sacredness of marriage, designed by God to include the complementarity of one man and one woman in a holy union of selfless love, so that new life may be generated – these are all aspects of our Judeo-Christian heritage in which morality and the Natural Law is God’s will for us in our daily lives.
Yet, we are witnesses to a great darkness which continues to pervade the minds and hearts of man in almost every culture throughout the world, for there is a very vocal dissent which wishes to undermine and extinguish those sacred traditions which were established by God and made known to us in the inspired writings of Sacred Scripture! For we find today that the sanctity of the womb is no longer respected, and same-sex unions are becoming openly accepted, legitimized and taught to our children in schools, while the definition of marriage is being re-written by many governmental institutions and upheld by courts of man-made law!
And all of this is happening while the voices of moral descent are being censured and God-fearing Christians are being reproached for the faith which has guided mankind since the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And yet, if we expect to gain entrance through the “narrow gate” as our Lord was describing to us today, we need to keep our minds and our hearts focused on what truly matters to us in this life, on this side of eternity. We need to stay focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ, for His words are words of Truth; His words are truly a roadmap to that narrow gateway which leads to eternal life.
In spite of all that we are sometimes called to face and endure on this side of Heaven, being charitable, being kind and considerate to our neighbor is one of those teachings, a teaching which is not such a heavy burden as some would have us believe. Living the virtue of selfless love is imitating the life of our Savior; it is imitating the Divine Love which our Creator holds in His Heart for each and every one of us.
And turning to God, depending upon His Goodness, asking Him to watch over and protect us, to teach and guide us, so that we may travel the narrow path which leads to righteousness, to a holy relationship with our God, is truly His invitation to each and every one of us.
Even Abram, in today’s First Reading, who was not given the gift of truly knowing God as we know Him, lived a God-like life towards his kinsmen. Abram is considered a righteous man by Jews, Christians and Muslims, for Abram lived the virtue of being kind and considerate towards others. He lived a life of adoring and loving the One True God.
Even though he was considered the head of the clan of people who followed him, Abram trusted in the God who had made Himself known to him. Abram believed in the concept of peace, and was not hesitant to humble himself in order to maintain that peace as we find in today’s Reading.
Even though Abram lived some two thousand years before the Birth of Christ, in the way he lived his life, Abram exemplified what could be termed a Christ-like life – caring for others with a selfless love.
He may not have been a disciple of Jesus Christ, but Abram was definitely a disciple of the God of Love – by the example he gave in the life which he lived. No wonder God chose him to be the father of a great nation and an ancestor to the promised Messiah!
As we read in today’s Responsorial Antiphon, “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord”, our Lord is asking each of us, both you and me, to live our lives with justice towards others. He is asking that we empty from ourselves inflated pride and self-esteem. He is asking that we empty from ourselves the ego which prevents us from loving others selflessly and embracing His will with humility.
Only in this way can we hope to become a true child of God, a child who is able to pass through the maze of confusion and disordered thinking in today’s world, whereby we are able to find that “narrow gate” which is available to each of us as a special gift freely offered by God.
In the end, may we become that faithful child who truly gives praise to God through the life of faith which we exercise daily – all for His greater honor and glory, and for our eternal salvation! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
- “Keep a close watch on yourself, my son, in everything you do, and discipline yourself in all your conduct. Do to no one what you yourself dislike.” (Tobit 4:14c-15a)
- “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
- “For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)
- “Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
- “Who among you loves life, takes delight in prosperous days? Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The LORD has eyes for the just and ears for their cry.” (Psalm 34:13-16)
- “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
- “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.” (Matthew 7:13)
- “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
- “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
Prayer for the Day
“May I be no man’s enemy,
and may I be the friend of that which is Eternal and abides.
May I never quarrel with those nearest me;
and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly.
“May I never devise evil against any man;
if any devise evil against me,
may I escape uninjured
and without the need of hurting him.
“May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good.
May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy none.
May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune
of one who has wronged me.
“When I have done or said what is wrong,
may I never wait for the rebuke of others,
but always rebuke myself until I make amends.
“…May I respect myself.
May I always tame that which rages within me.
May I accustom myself to be gentle
and never be angry with people because of circumstances.
“May I never discuss who is wicked
and what wicked things he has done,
but know good men and follow in their footsteps,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.”Eusebius (4th century Bishop of Caesarea and Church Father)