Meditation for the Day

Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, October 26

May All Those Whom We Meet Look Upon Each of Us and See the Risen Christ within Both You and Me, Recognizing That We Truly Are Christians by Our Love.

In Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, we read today, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us…”

To be adopted children of the Eternal Father means that we are to speak and act as Christ would, to love as Christ loves. To be a Christian people means that we are set apart as a people who embrace the virtue of love in our daily lives. We give witness to our faith by truly showing that we are a people who care for our brothers and sisters, who selflessly give unconditionally, without any expectation of return.

I am sure that many of us are familiar with the song, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” And Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, writes, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Love is that special quality, that special attribute which allows us to emulate the very Nature of God Himself – for love is the highest of all the theological virtues.

And it was the absence of this love which embarrassed the leader of the synagogue in today’s Gospel Reading. If the Law permitted the unbinding of animals and leading them to the water and food troughs on the Sabbath, then how much more so would be the unbinding of Satan’s hold on a human being – for is not the dignity of a human being greater than that of an animal?

And when confronted with this truth, Scripture tells us that those in authority were “humiliated”.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

If we are to be a truly Christian people, then we should never fail in our selfless exercise of the virtue which imitates God Himself – for Love is the very Life of God, the very Essence of who God is!

Our Lord did not hesitate to set this woman free from her infirmity. And when He was criticized for His act of love, Christ responded with the word, “Hypocrites!”

I have heard many stories and read many articles about people who no longer attend any form of church service. One of their excuses, albeit a shallow one, is that they do not wish to sit next to hypocrites.

Are you and I hypocrites? Do we espouse one thing, but give witness to another? Do we preach about love in church, but fail to “walk the talk” in our families and our workplace? Do we believe the importance of Christ’s words, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – but we disparage a person’s good name and gossip about him or her at home or on our coffee or lunch break at work?

Questions that we should all take to heart – the answers to which are only revealed by the faith we practice in our daily lives.

Are you and I hypocrites? Or are we a living witness to the faith we hold dear to our hearts? By virtue of His Infinite Love, God the Father fulfilled His promises to man by sending us His Only-Begotten Son, who freely set aside the awesome nature of His Divinity so as to take upon Himself our human nature, with all of its weaknesses except sin.

And out of His indescribable Love for each and every one of us, Jesus accepted the awesome task of freely giving Himself up to death, to the point of abject humiliation and the horrific suffering of His Cross, so that He may teach us, His brothers and sisters, of the Divine Love and Mercy which our Heavenly Father offers to each one of us, so that you and I, and all our brothers and sisters of every generation, may be reconciled, with the help of God’s grace, to our Most Loving Father for all eternity.

This was then, is now, and always will be the ultimate example and expression of Infinite Love which God has for you and me! And He asks each of us to emulate His Love, insofar as you and I are able on this side of Heaven – in our thoughts, in our words and in all our interactions with one another throughout our daily lives.

Sadly, however, it is the act of sin which separates us from God; it is sin which displeases our Heavenly Father and which brings upon ourselves His Just Judgment. For it is Paul who reminds us in our First Reading, “…for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.”

With our hearts turned towards God, as they should be, the lasting joy which each of us ultimately seeks is the eternal joy, the eternal happiness with the God who loves you and me so intimately, and invites each and every one of us, His children, to be with Him forever.

As children of God, we truly are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. And may all those whom we meet in our daily lives look upon each of us, and may they see the Risen Christ within us –

– for they will most assuredly know that we are Christians by our love!

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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.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)
  • “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them.” (Ephesians 5:6-7)
  • “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • “…be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us…” (Ephesians 4:31-5:2a)
  • “…the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, ‘There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.’” (Luke 13:14)
  • “The Lord said to him in reply, ‘Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated…” (Luke 13:15-17a)
  • “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
  • “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)
  • “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)
  • “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
  • “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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Prayer for the Day

“Gracious and loving God,
You call us to walk with Your Son,
Jesus Christ, in this our journey of faith.

“Help us to grow to become more like Him
in overcoming temptations to be self-centered,
to attend only to our own needs.

“Help us to recognize the dignity
of every human being, welcoming, accepting
and understanding others as Christ did,
never being judgmental or condescending.

“Help us to see the pain within others
and to respond with Christ’s compassion and mercy.
Unite us in our efforts to uphold the life and dignity
of all from conception to natural death.

“As we journey with Christ
through His Passion, Death and Resurrection,
may we learn from Him the meaning of selfless love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

cf. Our Journey toward Selfless Love (Diocese of Tucson)

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