Daily Reflection for Thursday, February 17, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: James 2:1-9
Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Gospel: Mark 8:27-33
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. (James 2:8)
In the first reading today, James describes the commandment, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” as the royal law. Perhaps in the context of the day the word royal must have placed an enormous amount of importance to this greatest of commandments.
As I reflect on so many examples of those who love their neighbor just as they love themselves, images of people I have met come to mind. Yesterday, I had the pleasure to meet a team from New York who develop retreats for young adults. I am helping them think through the details, as they will be hosting one of these retreats at the retreat house I direct. The retreat, that is usually held in Spanish, will now for the first time be held in English for young adult Latina women who often straddle the culture of their parent(s) and their present urban culture they live in daily. The retreat takes all this into consideration and invites these young women to lean on their faith as they navigate through their life journey.
The coordinators of this retreat spend a great amount of time in prayer. They also spend much time planning and inviting young women to the retreat. They pay attention to every detail and encourage the families of the retreatants to pray for them and to be involved in the implementation of the retreat as well. When I asked one of the coordinators if this is her full-time job, as it is so time consuming, she shared with me that she does this as a volunteer and that she works full-time and is raising a family. She said that she is involved in these retreats because it has strengthened her own life’s journey and that she wants to share this with others so that their faith life is awakened and strengthened.
Today as I read the commandment of “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” I think of the coordinators of this retreat. Their faith, deepened by the retreat experiences, calls them to share their faith and love for Jesus to their “neighbors.” The Divine Love they have discovered gives them the constant strength to continue their work and service. They are following this most compassionate and human law that James today describes as royal.
May you be guided by the royal law today,