Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Weekly Digest of the Regnum Christi Daily Meditations: October 18-25, 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020 – Signed, Sealed and To Be Delivered

Monday, October 19, 2020 – Bigger Barns?

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – Spiritual Readiness

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – It’s So Hard to Get Good Help

Thursday, October 22, 2020 – Jesus’ Fire Must Be My Own

Friday, October 23, 2020 – Spiritual Weather Reports

Saturday, October 24, 2020 – The Fig That Was Almost Toast!

Sunday, October 25, 2020 – Putting God First

 


October 18, 2020 – Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Signed, Sealed and To Be Delivered

 

Matthew 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Creator and Redeemer, everything good comes from you. You are the one source of peace and happiness. Thank you for bringing me into existence and ensuring I received the inestimable gift of the faith. Thank you for accompanying me in every moment. I am grateful for your mercy and love and wish to respond more generously to you in my life.

Petition: Lord, may I remember who I am: one who bears the name “Christian”.

  1. Signed: How often do we reflect on what we are doing when we make the Sign of the Cross? In “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, the future Pope Benedict said: “To seal oneself with the Sign of the Cross is a public and visible ‘yes’ to him who suffered for us, to him who in the body has made God’s love visible, to a God who reigns not by destruction but by humility of suffering and love which is stronger than all the power of the world and wiser than all the calculating intelligence of men.” We are saying that we believe in the power of the cross and particularly in what it means for our own life – our own bodies will rise again. We sign ourselves as belonging to the one who has won our redemption by his blood on the cross, as belonging to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are signed and we belong to God. The Sign of the Cross is a daily reminder that we are to give to God what is God’s, that is, our very selves.
  2. Delivered: Christ prayed at the Last Supper, “They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world…. Father, I desire that those also whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17: 16-24). And so it is that we are to be delivered to where we will see his glory and be with him. We bear an inscription as those baptized into his life, and we outwardly recall this when we make the Sign of the Cross with water from the fonts in the entrances to our churches. It is up to us then—with the thoughts, words and actions of our lives—to live this truth coherently, giving to God what is God’s.
  3. Detached: Pope Saint John Paul II, reflecting on Psalm 145, writes: “Man therefore finds himself facing a radical choice between two contrasting possibilities: on the one side is the temptation to ‘trust in princes,’ adopting their criteria inspired by wickedness, selfishness and pride. In fact, this is a slippery slope, a ruinous road, a ‘crooked path and a devious way,’ (Proverbs 2:15) whose goal is despair. Indeed, the Psalmist reminds us that man is a frail, mortal being, as the very word ‘adam’ implies; in Hebrew this word is used to signify earth, matter, dust. Man – the bible constantly states – is ‘like (…) a strip of grass that is green at dawn but has withered by evening (Psalms 89:5-6).’” With this in mind, we “give to the emperor” what is of this world by relinquishing or simply detaching ourselves from it. We give what is eternal, namely our souls, over to God because we belong to him.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes I am attracted by the things of this world and influenced by those who try to convince me to trust only in the world’s ways. May I not be hoodwinked by this world but keep my heart set on the world that will never pass away. Only in your world will I be filled with your grace forever.

Resolution: Today I will examine my conscience to do some “house cleaning” of my soul. I resolve to treat the goods of this world only as a means towards holiness, stepping stones to communion with God.


October 19, 2020 – Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Bigger Barns?

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 12: 13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Introductory Prayer: O God, I come to you today with all my human frailty. You know me better than I know myself. I am in your presence to accompany and console you, not to seek consolation or a nice feeling for myself. Even if I get distracted during our time together, I offer myself to you completely.

Petition: Lord, give me wisdom to understand what is truly important in this life.

  1. The Scorecard of Life: Driving down the road, a bumper sticker is often seen: “The one who dies with the most toys wins.” This is a contemporary rendition of the mantra of Jesus’ rich fool: “Eat, drink and be merry.” Juggling credit cards and all kinds of financing schemes, many people live life like the rich fool in today’s Gospel. Is the drive for material pleasure, or security, impoverishing my soul?
  2. A Bigger Barn vs. a Bigger Heart: What will truly make us happy? Glossy magazine ads are, for some, a source of inspiration on this point. Basically, they are about “bigger barns”: a hotter car, redder lipstick, spectacular vacations. The rich fool believes that by increasing his capacity for material pleasure, he will be happier. But it’s an illusion. Like the running wheel for a gerbil, it is lots of movement without getting anywhere. We invest energy and effort acquiring things, but the bigger barn brings us little joy. That’s because our hearts – not our barns – are what really need to be enlarged. Our heart longs for love. That Augustinian restlessness will never leave us in peace until we have encountered the Lord who loves us and have discovered him in the relationships ordained by his providence.
  3. When the Final Curtain Is Drawn: At the end of this parable, Jesus in essence says, “You can’t take it with you.” There’s a place in Rome in which this is graphically depicted. The Capuchin church of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception, on Via Veneto, is affectionately known as the “Bone Church.” Inside there is an amazingly designed and arranged display made completely out of the bones of four thousand Capuchin friars! While it may strike at modern sensitivities as somewhat morbid, like today’s Gospel it teaches an important lesson. All those bones look alike. Unless you are a forensic expert, you cannot tell who was fat or thin, smart or dull, handsome or homely. Death is the great leveler. Earthly advantages dissolve. Material goods stay in this world. We go to the Lord to render an account of our lives at death. As the little sign on the wall of the Capuchin ossarium says, “One day, we were like you. One day, you will be like us.”

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, so often I find my eyes looking on the good things of this world more as ends than means. I need to keep my priorities straight always: you first and then everything else, inasmuch as they lead me to you. Give me the wisdom to realize that life is short and that it must be lived for you alone.

Resolution: I will live charity today as fervently as if I knew this day were my last.


October 20, 2020  – Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Spiritual Readiness

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you watch my every action, know my every thought, and guide my every path. I love and trust in your will. Thank you for this time of prayer. From it may I receive the spiritual energy I need to keep my eyes firmly planted on you today and to remain confident that you are always at my side.

Petition: Lord, help me always to be alert to the needs of others.

  1. Watch and Pray: Being blindsided is no fun. Those unexpected surprises are particularly annoying when we feel someone should have warned us. “Please make sure you tell me about this next time” is a familiar refrain. When it comes to the questions about the afterlife, if we are blindsided, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Christ has given us more than adequate warning. Neither death nor his coming in glory to judge humanity should catch us off guard. The key to preparedness lies in his admonition to his disciples: “Watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41).
  2. Master or Servant: Imagine Jesus’ joy in welcoming one of his “good and faithful servants” into heaven. He said that he will sit us down and serve us dinner. That beautiful image reminds us that the hard work of being faithful will not lack its reward. More than anything, it points to Jesus’ gratitude; the Master becomes the servant for his loyal disciples. After all that the Lord has done for us, what else would we rather do than to give Christ the joy of our faithfulness?
  3. The Long Haul: Jesus talks about the master of the house possibly arriving at the “second or third watch of the night.” Being faithful isn’t a fling or a flash in the pan. We know that there will be “ups and downs,” moments of two steps forward and one back. Through it all we are called to persevere. Going the distance is not easy, but how beautiful it is! Pope Saint John Paul II gave us an indelible example of perseverance. When we heard that he had passed away, all of us felt sadness until we considered the joy of imagining the embrace between him and the Lord he loved so much. May our own example bear witness to our desire to persevere — to stick with the commitment of fidelity until the Lord calls us home.

Conversation with Christ: Whether life is long or short, Lord, I have to be ready for whatever your providence brings. I want to persevere, but so often my love is undermined by my fears and frailty. Give me the strength I need.

Resolution: I will review my life choices to make sure that I am persevering in all that I have promised Christ.


October 21, 2020  – Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

It’s So Hard to Get Good Help

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Creator and Redeemer, everything good comes from you. You are the one source of peace and happiness. Thank you for bringing me into existence and ensuring I received the inestimable gift of the faith. Thank you for accompanying me in every moment. I am grateful for your mercy and love and wish to respond more generously to you in my life.

Petition: Lord, help me to be a faithful and prudent steward.

  1. Wanted: Faithful and Prudent Stewards: Anyone who has had a management position knows that one of the riskiest parts of the job is hiring. Very often, it can seem like rolling dice, especially when there is a conflict between what’s read in the resume and what’s felt in the gut. Nevertheless, to make a good hire, you need to have a clear idea of what you want. The Lord has a simple job description for the stewards he is looking to bring on. They must be faithful and prudent. In being faithful, they don’t seek to impose their own vision or desires over his, but rather serve the Master who has given them their commission. Their will is such that they are confident in assimilating the desires of their master. They are able to perceive how to adjust and adapt to the multitude of circumstances that arises. These stewards are constantly applying the old wristband test, “WWJD,” i.e., What Would Jesus Do?
  2. Tasting One’s Own Medicine: Having been “hired” by the master, it would be foolish not to expect to be held accountable for the trust that he bestows. Nevertheless, the irresponsible steward indulges his appetites and abuses his authority. The master’s “delay” gives him a false sense of security. Without the natural brake of his master’s watchful eye, his pride gets out of control. Yet the master is bound to return, and the servant eventually experiences the results of his own arrogance: the taste of his own medicine is bitter indeed. The Lord is inviting us to have a greater awareness of his constant presence. His absence and “delay” are only apparent. He is very much present to those who wish to live their God-given charge with integrity and responsibility. His grace is always available to those who live their lives in his presence.
  3. Management Styles: The two types of stewards have very different management styles. One beats the servants; the other “distributes the food allowance at the proper time.” We all want to be counted among those faithful and prudent stewards who take good care of those entrusted to us. Yet at times, the responsibility we have seems more burdensome than desirable. While the bad steward indulges his passions, the good steward is in danger of giving into his fatigue and impatience. Frustration is a distinct possibility when it comes to forming others. If the Lord died such a cruel death for our salvation, who can measure the value of a single soul? By contemplating that example, we need to learn to put aside our petty annoyances and instead be faithful in caring for those entrusted to us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you have given me such great responsibility. I am sorry for the times I have offended you, and for when I have not lived up to the trust you have bestowed on me. I promise you that I will strive to reflect your love for those to whom you have entrusted to my care.

Resolution: When my patience is tested, I will pause and ask myself, “How does the Lord want me to handle this situation?”


October 22, 2020  – Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus’ Fire Must Be My Own

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Introductory Prayer: Father, I place myself in your presence. I firmly believe in you and love you with all my heart. I entrust myself completely to your merciful but demanding ways, knowing that you only seek to lead me home to heaven.

Petition: Lord, help me to ignite awareness of your love all around me.

  1. The Spark That Must Become a Blaze: Jesus’ intensity and passion break out in radical expression in today’s Gospel. He yearns for a divine conflagration in the hearts of his disciples. Jesus endured a true baptism of immersion, steeped in the pain of Golgotha, precisely so that our own baptism would not be a mere ceremony. Rather he wanted our baptism to be a holy spark of divine life that, with care and formation, would become a growing flame of authentic Christian holiness. Indeed, let us fan that flame and never allow external pressures, or our own mediocrity, to extinguish it.
  2. Peace, at Any Price? Jesus corrects a misperception in some of his listeners. Some no doubt expected him to usher in the messianic peace, when the lion would lie down with the lamb (see Isaiah 11:6-9). No, the time for that peace will be at history’s end, when God’s Kingdom is established in all its fullness. Till then, Christianity will often find itself in conflict with the powers of the world. We want to be considered nice people, yet our convictions will at times bring us conflict. May the spark of our soul be a strong-enough flame to accept those moments and avoid the cheap peace of acquiescing with the world.
  3. Put Up Your Dukes? Should Catholics be people spoiling for a fight? Not if they want to be good Catholics! Those who love fighting and arguing may very well find themselves in divided households, but not for the reasons Jesus really means. Courtesy, gentleness, and the finer details of charity should characterize the person who wants to be like Christ. These kinds of people seek to unite, not divide. When they are dividers, it is because they have to be. They know when the point arrives that if they bend any further, they’ll break—where flexibility would degenerate into infidelity. There are tough, sad moments when being faithful to Christ means a head-on collision in a very important relationship, such as the ones Jesus mentions. But when it’s a question of where our first loyalty lies, there is no debate. Christ must come first.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you are the center of my life. I thank you for my family and pray that I will never be a stumbling block for their faith. Give me the wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. Help me, so that I will never compromise the Gospel, nor needlessly alienate those whom you have sent me to serve.

Resolution: I will strive to set a good spiritual example for my family and will invite someone who has strayed to consider coming back.


October 23, 2020 – Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Spiritual Weather Reports

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain – and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot – and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are here with me. I have come to honor and adore you. Your love sustains me. I want to love you more in return.

Petition: Lord, allow me to comprehend your providence more deeply.

  1. Seeing Signs: Jesus expresses some indignation with the spiritual obtuseness of his listeners; in other words, they don’t get it! When it comes to earthly matters, they can put two and two together in an almost infallible manner. A dim dullness, however, has the upper hand when the spiritual realm is broached. Why? Possibly because they were not bothering to ponder what the sign of Jesus’ presence, miracles and words really meant. They remained on the superficial level without plumbing the depths. Superficiality inhibits our own spiritual progress as well. Seeing signs isn’t so much a matter of being able to pick out the shape of a tabernacle or cross in a passing cloud, but of deep and prayerful consideration of the love of God in our lives.
  2. God’s Presence: People who live a life of consistent prayer are much more in tune with God’s presence. Where others see coincidence, they see providence. This gives them a profound sense of peace. They know that God is in charge and that they don’t have to figure out everything for themselves. The world doesn’t rest on their shoulders, but on God’s. So instead of complaining or worrying, they live in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance.
  3. Paying Attention: God’s providence guides all things. We know this through faith and sometimes he sends a sign to say, “Yes, I’m indeed here.” Once a priest was driving down the road and his thoughts were taken up with a difficulty he was having with a particular person. “How should I handle this?” he asked himself. A car pulled out in front of him. The license plate read “CARITAS”, which is Latin for “charity.” Was it just a coincidence? He couldn’t deny that this was the answer he was looking for. The signs that invite us to be more Christ-like are the ones to which we need to pay the most attention.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, the times I really don’t pick up on the signs you send me are when they challenge my resistance to your grace. Help me to overcome my spiritual superficiality and perceive your presence in my life.

Resolution: I will try to be prompt in following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.


 

October 24, 2020 – Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

The Fig That Was Almost Toast!

 

Luke 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, ”Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, who am I that you spend time listening to me in my prayer? Who am I that you speak with me? You have given humanity such dignity by assuming our nature and giving me personally so many gifts. Time and time again you have been patient with me and received me back into your embrace when I have strayed from you. Thank you for your kindness to me. I hope to receive it always in the future and especially at the hour of my death. Your kindness and patience are a manifestation of your love for me. I want to return that love, because the only fitting response to love is love.

Petition: Lord, help me to be as patient with others as you are with me.

  1. The Figless Fig: The owner of the fig tree in the parable, which many spiritual authors see as an image of God the Father, comes for three years in search of fruit. How often our Heavenly Father comes in search of fruit on the fig tree of our lives. And what does he find? He has given us the “soil” and so many elements that are conducive to being fruitful. He has made known his desire for us to bear fruit, and his Son has explained to us how the fruit is to be produced. There are no excuses. Let’s take notice of the lesson of the parable: When the Father comes to us looking for fruits, it is because it is the time for fruit. What will we say to the Father if he has given us ten, twenty, forty, sixty years to bear fruit but finds none? It’s not just about looking nice, as a fig does. It’s about bearing fruit – fruit that will last – according to the Father’s plan.
  2. The Fig That Was Almost Toast: There is an American idiom referring to something that is destroyed and no longer what it was: “It’s toast!” The fig tree in the parable was in danger of becoming “toast”. “Cut it down” was the order given by the owner. “Why should it exhaust the soil?” What a terrible accusation! It was useless and only sapping nutrients from the soil for no purpose. When we apply this parable to our own lives, it is ghastly to think that our life, or the lives of others, might be just as useless. Cut it down. Take it away. It serves no purpose. The judgment is just. But it was a judgment that was soon to be lifted, both in the case of the fig tree and in the application to our own lives. Am I sufficiently grateful for God’s continual mercy towards me and others?
  3. Leave It… Thanks to the gardener in the parable, the fig lives and is not cut down. The axe does not bite into the trunk of the fig, wrenching from it the beauty of its leaves and meandering branches. In our case, Jesus Christ the Good Gardener steps in and asks the owner, the Heavenly Father, to “leave it;” he, the Good Gardener, will take care of things. And how he does it! The Gardener himself is cut down in a bloody way and crucified. We who indeed should justly be cut down are saved, while the axe is put to the trunk of His body. All for love of us! Archbishop Luis Martinez has a beautiful image in his book, The Secrets of the Interior Life where he speaks of suffering as a manifestation of love: “It is said that the myrrh tree allows its perfume to escape only when it is bruised.” The perfume “flows drop by drop through the lacerations of the bark that enfold them.”

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, how patient the Father is with me! Thank you for coming to save me, for laying your life down for me, for suffering what I should endure because of my self-centeredness and sinfulness. But with you, there is hope.

Resolution: I will exercise patience today with everyone I meet, thinking of the patience that God has had with me.


October 25, 2020  – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Putting God First

 

Father Paul Campbell, LC

Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown me.

Petition: Lord, give me the strength to put you first in my life and others second.

  1. Putting God First: Jesus gives a twofold response to the question about which of the commandments is the greatest. He first turns to Deuteronomy 6:15: “You shall love the Lord your God …” This was familiar to the Jews, for they recited this passage in prayer (called the “Shema”) several times a day and wrote it on all their doorposts. For us, as well as for the Jews, it is a constant reminder that God must be first in our life. As our creator and redeemer, God has an absolute claim on us. We owe him everything. Everything we have is a gift from him. Too often we shelve God, ignoring him until a convenient moment arises or it suits our mood. Putting God first means setting aside the best part of our day for prayer to him and seeking to live his will at every moment out of love for him.
  2. Becoming “Other-Centered”: Jesus next turns to the commandment found in Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbor …” He combines the two commandments in such a way that one cannot be fulfilled without the other. There can be no love of God without loving other human persons, made in his image. Nor can love of neighbor exist without a pure and purifying love for God. Love for neighbor requires putting others ahead of ourselves. Self-love and self-absorption lead only to loneliness and isolation. Being “other-centered” is the key to our happiness and fulfillment. To love others means to seek their true good, to serve them out of love for the Lord. We need to come out of ourselves and look beyond the narrow interests of our egoism and self-love. The more we love authentically, the more fulfilled our life will become.
  3. Praying for Those Who Harm Us: It is not easy to break out of selfish habits. Because of sin, we have the tendency to inflate self-interest in a disordered way. This is not good. We need to ask for the power of grace to purify our hearts and give us the interior strength to put others ahead of ourselves. God is ready to give us this grace, but he wants us to ask for it. Difficult circumstances and relationships need to be faced by prayer and sacrifice. We need to pray even for those who harm us and to ask God to give us the grace and strength to love them as God loves them. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to put you first in my life. So many times I find myself putting other things ahead of you. I make time for the things I want to do, but I find little time to pray. I find time to talk to my friends, but little time to speak with you. I need strength from you to love you. Help me also to see and love others as you do.

Resolution: I will pray during the day for someone who bothers me and seek to put their good before my own.

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