Scriptural Reading: Matthew 22:37-39
Let us begin today’s reflection with the words of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “The greatest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everyone. The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor who lives at the roadside assaulted by exploitation, corruption, poverty and disease. ” In the rush and unhealthy quest for self-comfort, many of us have neglected the feelings, cares and wellbeing of our neighbours. In Luke 10:30 – 37, Jesus demonstrated through the story of the Good Samaritan that ‘neighbour’ is anyone and everyone that needs our love, irrespective of ethnicity, race, religious, political, social and economic affiliations. If we sincerely reflect on this story of the Good Samaritan, we would realize that more often than not, our love does have limit. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, therefore, confesses thus, “The tragedy of the world is that many are unloved, some do not make themselves lovable because of their selfishness; others do not have the Christ-like spirit to love those who do not love them. ” As such, our hearts are pregnant with inward injuries, hatred, hurts and a longing for a community of love, where every one cares for each person, where truth and justice prevail, and, where each person’s personal kingdom has to give way. for God’s Kingdom of Love to reign.
A sister once asked me, “Can our love go beyond the limit of friends (those that agree with us), relatives or families, churches or faith, cultures, tribes or ethnicities, groups both social and religious, etc.? Put differently, can a Samaritan love a Jew? The answer is YES, for “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile”. For love is the heart of what it means to be a Christian. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is the litmus test for identifying the disciples of Christ. It is the parameter for evaluating and judging our faithfulness to the commandments of our God. For when the atmosphere of love gives way to acts of unforgiveness,
hatred, pride, competition, then ‘stay your own syndrome’ becomes the order of the day in our neighbourhood and churches. We then uphold the boundaries of differences and divisions at the expense of love. Know it that we are no longer following the will, mind and command of Jesus when we are involved in this.
Jesus wants us to break the barriers that divide the Samaritans and the Jews to yield the fruit of love, so that we do not miss the target. Beloved, let us become agents and workers of the ‘civilization of love’, sowing and fanning to flame the love wherever we find ourselves. This is the mission of Christ. This is the mission of the Church and of all members of the Daily Strength family. Remember as St. John of the Cross would say, “At the end of our life, we shall bejudged by charity. ” Let us conclude with the words of St. Vincent de Paul, “Charity is greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. ” As a member of the Daily Strength family, you must be a messenger of peace and love.
- Begin your prayer with this chorus;
‘Father we declare, that we love you, we declare an everlasting love for you.’
- Thank the Lord for his love for you and your family.
- Pray God to forgive you for the times you have betrayed his love by failing to give a helping hand to those in need (Take seriously).
- Pray for those in need of love and charity all over the world, may they have a vivid experience of God’s love and care through believers in Christ Jesus.
- Pray for all those who participate in charitable activities, may they never be tired or discouraged in manifesting God’s love and care to their neighbours.
- Pray this: ‘The Act of Charity’ “O my God because you are so good, 1 love you with all my heart and for your sake I love my neighbour as myself. Amen.
Exercise: No matter how little you have, give something in support of a charity group in your society or Parish.
Memory Verse: Isaiah 58:10