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Browsing Reflections Archive

February 22, 2021

Daily reflection for Monday, February 22, 2021

Peace and blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Monday's readings at this link:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022221.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4
Responsorial: Psalm 23: 1-3a, 4, 5, 6
Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19

Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. Psalm 23: 4.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 
Matthew 16: 15.

As I write this reflection, the world has almost 2.4 million deaths (476,000 in the U.S.) attributed to COVID-19 and its predicted deaths could grow to 3.6 million by May 1st.  We are walking through the “valley of the shadow of death.”  The United States has a disproportionate share of those deaths. As a rich country, we have access to vaccines much more quickly than the people of poor countries.  We can be thankful for that, but mindful also that all peoples of the world need the vaccines and protection.

It's hard for me to think of an opportunity better than this coronavirus pandemic for the world to cooperate, and especially an opportunity for the rich countries and peoples of the world to not lord it over those assigned to you, but to be examples to the flock as the First Reading tells us.

One of the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching calls for preferential treatment of the poor.  Sometimes this gets misinterpreted by some who ask, “Does this mean poor people are better than those who aren’t poor?” 

No, God loves all people the same.  Rich, poor, Christian, Muslim, atheist, gay, straight.  All people. As Matthew 5:45 tells us: he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

Catholic Social Teaching’s preferential treatment of the poor means that I as a human being, my church as an institution, and my government in its priority and policy setting, should initially consider “how will this affect poor people?”  Blessed are the poor is what we are told in Luke 6.

So while the world deals with the “valley of the shadow of death,” there is opportunity for the world—including the governments, the churches, the pharmaceutical companies, the healthcare systems, and all of us people—to do what Jesus would do.  Healing, caring, sharing with humanity regardless of their incomes.

When Jesus asks me “Who do you say that I am?” and I answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” I need to be prepared for what that answer should mean in my life.

Peace and blessings,
Al Mytty

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