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Browsing Reflections Archive

June 15, 2021

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Responsorial: Psalm 146:2, 5-9
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …     Matthew 5:44

In today’s gospel, Jesus explains that God pours out His goodness on the bad and the good…on the just and the unjust. In other words, God does not calculate who is deserving before offering His love.  How different that is from our usual transactional approach to relationships where we typically respond in kind to the treatment we have received—positively to those who’ve treated us well and negatively to those who haven’t. Jesus is clearly calling us to a higher standard—to love as God loves.

Only when we realize that God loves us beyond all deserving can we begin to love others in the same merciful way—before they show signs of straightening up, before they even realize that we are extending mercy to them. We never know what small act of mercy could change another’s heart. I will always remember a co-worker’s generous act of forgiveness after my own thoughtless words had hurt and offended him. His mercy relieved me of guilt, filled me with gratitude, and taught me a lifelong lesson in compassion.

Recently I came across an astonishing prayer of forgiveness that left me speechless. The prayer was found by the side of a dead child at a concentration camp at the end of World War II. It reads:

O Lord,
remember not only the men and women of good will, but those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us;
remember the fruits we have brought thanks to this suffering –our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart
which has grown out of all of this;
and when they come to judgment,
let the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness. Amen. *

Offering one’s own sufferings for the redemption of one’s persecutors comes about as close as I can imagine to Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice.

May God give us hearts like His own, filled with love and mercy.
Jean Galanti

* Cited in Michael Leach, et al., The Way of Forgiveness: Readings for A Peaceful Life, page 221.


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