Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, June 23
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 us each and every day, including all the mayhem and violence which we find in many of today’s societies!
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 and grandchildren 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!
Verbal and physical 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, whereby those who profess Christian morality are persecuted, and some even martyred!
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 witness 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, legalized and taught to our children in schools, while the definition of marriage is being re-written in many societies and governments!
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 in today’s Gospel, we need to keep our minds and our hearts focused on what truly matters to us in this life – we need to stay focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ, for His words are words of Truth, and 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 the eternal, being charitable, being kind and considerate of 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 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.
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 – a relationship which gives us peace, a relationship which gives us hope.
For it was this relationship which Hezekiah was realizing in his own life, as He reached out to God imploring His help and His protection, which we find in our First Reading today.
And Hezekiah was rewarded for his humility and his faith in the God who listens to the prayers of His faithful children, especially when we recognize within ourselves that we can accomplish nothing without God’s Loving Presence in our lives.
Only in this way can we hope to find that “narrow gate” which is available to each of us as a special gift freely offered by God. Only in this way do the words of our psalmist today become our own, as we praise the God of our fathers who gives us every good gift –
“O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple. Like your name, O God, so also your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.”
May we become a true child of God who is able to pass through the maze of confusion and disordered thinking in today’s world; and may we become that faithful child who truly gives praise to God through the life of faith which we exercise all for His greater honor and glory!
For Jesus’ pathway is truly the Only Way which shall lead to 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)
- “Hezekiah prayed in the LORD’s presence: ‘LORD, God of Israel, enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. It is you who made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ear, LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, LORD, and see!’” (2 Kings 19:15-16b)
- “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)
- “We ponder, O God, your mercy within your temple Like your name, O God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 48:10-11)
- “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 wickedEusebius (4th century Bishop of Caesarea and Church Father)
and what wicked things he has done,
but know good men and follow in their footsteps,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.”