Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Matt 25:31-46

The Judgment of the Nations

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Is it still possible for us to experience God today? Yes, in many ways for God speaks to us of the wonders of His love through the beauty of the stars, the green mountains – in short, creation: your parents, brothers, sisters, your friends and the different events of your life. Most of all, God has spoken to us through His Son (Heb 1:1-2). The wonderful works of creation or a mere Word from Him would have been enough to remind us of His generous love. But He wanted more. He would live with us, love us with a human heart, talk to us in human language, work with us, suffer and die for us. Some weeks ago, some dailies and some magazines carried a photograph of a computer-generated image of what Jesus could have looked-like based on the skull of a man buried in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. Would you pray to this man or would you trust this man? More than a computer-generated image is Jesus’ poem, song, smile, words which are found in Holy Scriptures, in the sacraments, in prayer, in short, in the life of the Church. Just as God expected us to find Him under the veil of His assumed humanity, even when that humanity was full of blood and writhing in agony, so now He expects us to discover Him under other human veils. Everyday in the Philippines today, Jesus is trampled upon, sneered at and killed in the shattered homes and broken lives of the poor. It will, surely, cost us a great deal if we take God seriously on this point. (Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Today’s gospel talks about the practical ways of doing the second commandment of Jesus i.e., love your neighbor. The gospel illustrates two different groups of persons, namely, as goats and as sheep. The gospel presents the clear demarcation line between the two groups, i.e., their attitudes towards others. The former is far away from their neighbor’s needs while the latter is doing something for them. The gospel is challenging us to reflect on how we express our love for others. As Jesus said, “What you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” Do we see Christ in other people. I believe Blessed Teresa of Calcutta did not only live the gospel message but also shared it to others. She is the model of a real sheep for others. She cared for the aged, the sickly and the abandoned children in India. Are we the goats or the sheep of our family? Are we willing to lend our hands to others without expecting any rewards? (Frt. Ferdinand Alfante, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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What motivates you to do something good for the other person? A certain philosopher named Emmanuel Levinas once remarked that the face of the other should move us to responsibility and compassion. But for Christians, it is the face of Christ in the other which should move us to do good towards him/her. We need to see Christ in the other person. According to human standards, this at times does not make sense, once, before I started the Mass at Holy Family Parish in Novaliches, a woman begged if I could hear her confession. She mentioned that she wants to give up her membership from a certain renewal group because some members are not showing their true color, in her words: “plastic sila.” Immediately I asked, “What moved you to join the group in the first place?” she replied: “It is my faith in Christ.” Without hesitation, I told her: “Then, by all means continue for the sake of Christ!” Indeed, it is too difficult to welcome, clothe, feed, visit and give a drink to a person when he/she doesn’t pass your taste or standard. But for the sake of Christ,, you’ve got to do it.  People tend to be ungrateful but this should not discourage a Christian from showing his/her concern and love. This is the beauty of Christianity. The face of Christ in other moves us to serve the less fortunate, the unlovable and those undeserving of our help. The face of Christ inspires us even to trust those who are not trustworthy. Only in this manner that we never get tired of doing good to the other. (Fr. Yoyo Rebucias, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Based on the gospel reading of Ash Wednesday there are three traditional pillars for our Lenten renewal and growth in love of God and neighbor.  These are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Today the emphasis of our readings is on almsgiving. However we have to understand this biblical almsgiving as much as more than a simple dole out to make us feel good. Still less is it to be seen as something grudgingly given just to be rid of the one in need. If our prayer is really sincere, almsgiving will follow. This will demand real fasting, sacrifice of time, effort and treasure on behalf of our needy brothers and sisters. We can say that this biblical almsgiving embracing all aspects of our relationship with others. it is founded on justice, love, mercy and compassion. It is our response to what our readings tell us today, that the weaker members of society have to know God’s special love for them. We will be held accountable to the extent that we ignore this command of love. (Fr. John O’Mahony, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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Some years ago, I was introduced to someone who has contributed a rather good amount for the construction of the parish church of Our Lady of Lourdes here in Tagaytay. The man and I talked about serving the Lord and he shared with me an apostolate he was doing at that time. Every Sunday, he and other kind-hearted Catholics feed the children loitering in and around Luneta. Aside from just feeding them, they would teach them catechism and give them lessons on Christian values. He was sharing with me all of these, I believe, not to brag about himself but to show to me in all humility and thankfulness to God that he was given a chance to serve the ‘least ones’ in society. Before we ended our wonderful conversation, he left me some words of wisdom: “I have been blessed by God, Father, so in return I have to be a blessing to others.”

There are millions and one ways by which you and I could serve the least of our brothers and sisters as the gospel for today demands. We just have to open our eyes and ears to see and hear the needs of those who are less fortunate! The traditional seven corporal works of mercy, which are based on today’s gospel, are actions we must do in order for us to be called blessed by the Father. Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead are but a few specific actions that Christians can do in today’s world. Are you willing to give time, effort and even resources to do works of mercy and charity and be a blessing to others? (Fr. Emmanuel Menguito, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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Walk the Talk. Practice what you preach.

Our gospel speaks about the coming of the Lord. This is the moment we are waiting for….the coming of the Christ who is our King.

This is the image of the judgment time, when Christ the King will not ask, “Are you a priest?” “A nun?” “A teacher?” “A politician?” “A Christian?” He will only ask, “What did you do to your family loved ones, friends, strangers, and your enemies?” For He said, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” He will reward those who do good deeds even to their enemies, and will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” On the other hand, He will punish those who either do what they ought not to do (sin of commission) or don’t do what they ought to do (sin of omission); and he will say, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared the devils and his angels.”

Today’s gospel is reminding us of what St. James said: “”Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself,” (Js 2:17). As followers of Christ Jesus, we need to ask ourselves, “What have I done in my life?” “Do my deeds manifest my faith in God?” and finally, “Do I belong to the herd of sheep or goats?”

Let’s do it, then, and put into action the words that spring from our faith (Fr. Ferdinand Alfante SVD Bible Diary 2015).

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February 15, 2016 Monday

Today’s gospel fittingly reminds us about loving God and neighbor as we begin the Lenten season. The eschatological scene where “the Son of man” separates the good and the bad speaks of the final judgment. God will judge us accordingly based on how we live our lives on earth. The Lenten Season is a time for reexamining how we have lived our lives: “Do we love God and our neighbor?” This question hinges around the two greatest commandments that our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us. It is easy to say that we love God and our neighbor but how do we concretely manifest it? Our gospel today tells us the answer: by loving the least of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the hungry, the prisoners, the sick, the marginalized and the ostracized. They are crying for help, attention, care, and most importantly for love. Jesus’ words reverberate until now: “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” Are we capable of loving them? Only if we consider them as our brothers and sisters. The world is increasingly becoming individualistic and insensitive. The only way to change it is to show that we are capable of loving. St. John says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 Jn. 4:20). ”May this season of Lent make us loving persons, especially to the least of our brothers and sisters so that when we approach God at the last judgment we will all be worthy to be among the righteous who are rewarded with eternal life in God’s kingdom. (Fr. Joey Ruega, SVD | SJCS, Manila Bible Diary 2016.02.15)

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/455-february-15-2016-monday

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Mt 25:31-46 The Judgment of the Nations [Jesus said to his disciples,] 31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’…  46And these will go off… to eternal life.”


Reflection:

You did for me. The basis for the Last Judgment, says Jesus’ parable, is simple yet basic: how we have responded to human need. We will not be judged on talents and skills acquired, prestige and fortune earned, popularity and success gained. We will be judged on how much and how far we have helped. The help expected of us has to do with the most common and essential needs of man: food, clothing, and shelter. And the beneficiaries of our help—prisoners, beggars, the hungry and the thirsty—are insignificant and ordinary people, whom we meet every day. We do not have to look for them; they are all around us. But they need us to help them. And Jesus assures us that whatever we do for one of these least brothers of ours, we do for him.

Resolve not to let a day pass without your doing something good, useful, or helpful for others.

ssp.ph/index.php/365-Days-with-the-lord/february-27-2012.html

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We are “in the desert” with Jesus this week. We have come here to be free from the distractions of the world, to be with God, so that He can speak his word in our hearts. It is his word that gives us life, so we strive to listen carefully to what he says to us each day. “ Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.” God’s words to us in the first reading are very clear: “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” We are to be holy as God is holy. It would be ridiculous to think of this as something that we have to accomplish by our action.  Our holiness is God’s work. We come to him so that he can make us holy, by his power at work in us. This is the reason we come “into the desert” with him in this season. What does it mean to be holy as God is holy? First of all, it means to be free from sin. The first reading spells out many sins which we must certainly avoid: stealing, lying, swearing, falsely, cheating, etc. but holiness means much more than just avoiding sin. To be holy is to love. The Lord makes this clear at the end of the reading: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” God is love. To be holy as God is holy means to love as God loves. Jesus gives us the same message in the gospel. The ultimate judgment that God makes in separating the sheep from the goats is this: did this person love his neighbor as himself?  Jesus goes so far as to say that he considers any act we do to our neighbor as an act done to him, whether good or bad. This prompts us to make a deep examination of our conscience. How do we treat our neighbor, those with whom we live, with whom we work, whom we meet throughout our day? Do we truly treat them as if they were Jesus? Do we love  Jesus in them or do we neglect, scorn, or condemn Jesus in the way we treat them? We make this examination so that we can be more aware of how we fail in our love for our brothers and sisters, and so that we can repent of these sins and receive the Lord’s healing mercy.  He wants to make us holy as he is holy! Let us eagerly take hold of the grace offered to us in this season. “Behold now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” How do I treat my neighbor? Do I see Christ in other people? Do I see Him when I look at my own family? Do I love only those who love? In what practical way am I going to reach out in love this Lent? (from: Pondering the Word The Anawim Way – February 22, 2012-April 5, 2012 – February 27, 2012 pp. 41-42)

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WHATSOEVER YOU DO…: From the book of the prophet Ezekiel, we are told that our personal life is what counts most before the Lord. When it comes to the question of sin or goodness, it is personal relationship with God. “Although the community has a role in your life, whatever good or sin you do, is because of you.” You face God and account to Him the good you were able to do and the good you failed to do. we cannot blame others for the acts we committed and omitted.

Similarly, the gospel tells us that our Christian life is not only personalistic. It tells us that whatever we do also affects other people. These two need each other. Our religion and discipleship of the Lord are personal but it also communitarian. You do not approach the Lord alone. You do not offer the sacrifice alone. It is always in connection with what you have done and what you have failed to do.

Let us look into our worship and whether our relationship with the Lord is truly personal in the sense that we are the one making it and solely responsible for all the things we do, but also communitarian in the sense that we love each other, remembering that, “He whom the Lord loves, I also love.” If the Lord who is love, loves us all, so we too, must love each other. The Lord tells us that everybody is His friend then there is no reason why anyone of us is to be considered an enemy.

Our Christian life is personal. You are responsible for yourself. But our Christian life is also communitarian. Whatever we do affects other people. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 213)

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TWILIGHT YEARS: Refuse no one a good act when it is your power to do it for them. If you can make people happy by little acts of kindness, why deprive them of that?

Would it be better to have an old microwave oven in the garage than to give it away for P200? Is it better to allow the grapes and the apples to rot in the refrigerator, rather than tell the helpers to eat what you brought from abroad?

In the twilight of our life, we will be judged not according to what we kept in the refrigerator. We will be judged not according to what we kept in the store room and the garage.

In the twilight of our life, we will be judged according to how much we have given away and how much we have sacrificed. In the twilight of our life, we will be judged according to love.

The Lord will not look at the stars and the medals pinned our breasts. The Lord will look at the scars and the remains of wounds which have been healed by us and have allowed us to be instruments of healing for others.

Let me recall to you a story I read in a book sometime ago.

There was a prolific author who died. Thinking that St. Peter would judge her according to what she did here on earth, she brought to the gate of St. Peter, a cartful of books that she had written here on earth.

Right in front of her was another woman carrying another cartful of books. Our author,, wanting to strike a conversation, said to the woman in front of her, ‘Ma’am, it seems you are also a writer like me.”

And this woman said, “No, ma’am, I do not know how to read and write.”

Then this author said, “How come you have so many books? I brought my books because these are the ones I wrote on earth and I hope they will establish my credentials, so I can enter heaven.”

And our poor, poor madam who didn’t know how to read and write, said, “Ay, good for you. You know how to read and write. Me, I don’t know how to read and write. I just took care of babies and babies and babies in my life – my babies, the babies of my babies, the babies of my neighbors, babies of the neighborhood. I took care of them.”

“And what are the books you are carrying?” asked the author. And the illiterate woman says, “These are the books containing the names of all the people I served on earth. I was told it would be important in heaven.”

And our author bowed down her head and said to herself, “My God, I wrote the wrong books.” (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp.39-41)

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Mt 25:31-46

The Judgment of the Nations

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’…  46And these will go off… to eternal life.”

Reflection: You did for me. The basis for the Last Judgment, says Jesus’ parable, is simple yet basic: how we have responded to human need. We will not be judged on talents and skills acquired, prestige and fortune earned, popularity and success gained. We will be judged on how much and how far we have helped.

The help expected of us has to do with the most common and essential needs of man: food, clothing, and shelter. And the beneficiaries of our help—prisoners, beggars, the hungry and the thirsty—are insignificant and ordinary people, whom we meet every day. We do not have to look for them; they are all around us. But they need us to help them. And Jesus assures us that whatever we do for one of these least brothers of ours, we do for him.

Resolve not to let a day pass without your doing something good, useful, or helpful for others.

ssp.ph/index.php/365-Days-with-the-lord/february-27-2012.html

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We are “in the desert” with Jesus this week. We have come here to be free from the distractions of the world, to be with God, so that He can speak his word in our hearts. It is his word that gives us life, so we strive to listen carefully to what he says to us each day. “ Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.”

God’s words to us in the first reading are very clear: “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” We are to be holy as God is holy. It would be ridiculous to think of this as something that we have to accomplish by our action.  Our holiness is God’s work. We come to him so that he can make us holy, by his power at work in us. This is the reason we come “into the desert” with him in this season.

What does it mean to be holy as God is holy? First of all, it means to be free from sin. The first reading spells out many sins which we must certainly avoid: stealing, lying, swearing, falsely, cheating, etc. but holiness means much more than just avoiding sin. To be holy is to love. The Lord makes this clear at the end of the reading: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” God is love. To be holy as God is holy means to love as God loves.

Jesus gives us the same message in the gospel. The ultimate judgment that God makes in separating the sheep from the goats is this: did this person love his neighbor as himself?  Jesus goes so far as to say that he considers any act we do to our neighbor as an act done to him, whether good or bad. This prompts us to make a deep examination of our conscience. How do we treat our neighbor, those with whom we live, with whom we work, whom we meet throughout our day? Do we truly treat them as if they were Jesus? Do we love  Jesus in them or do we neglect, scorn, or condemn Jesus in the way we treat them?

We make this examination so that we can be more aware of how we fail in our love for our brothers and sisters, and so that we can repent of these sins and receive the Lord’s healing mercy.  He wants to make us holy as he is holy! Let us eagerly take hold of the grace offered to us in this season. “Behold now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

How do I treat my neighbor? Do I see Christ in other people? Do I see Him when I look at my own family? Do I love only those who love? In what practical way am I going to reach out in love this Lent? (from: Pondering the Word The Anawim Way – February 22, 2012-April 5, 2012 – February 27, 2012 pp. 41-42)

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Reflection: What do you feel when you sincerely help the needy, poor and in need? You will feel indescribable joy in your heart. Who give you this feeling of indescribable joyfulness? It’s Jesus none other than Jesus.

We have in our gospel two groups of people – the group on the right side and the one on the left side.  The group of people on the right side was those who helped the poor, in prison, needy and the like. Those on the left side were those who were insensitive to their needs.  Of course the Good Lord favored those at His right side, so the Lord gave them eternal life. And those who were on His left side, the Lord gave eternal punishment.

This gospel invites us to reflect on how we relate with the poor and less fortunate. Look around!  You may have relatives or neighbors who are not as affluent as you are. Many of us are carried away with the riches that we have that we tend to forget the less fortunate and the poor.

This Lent is a wake up call for all of us. We must be concerned with their welfare, a concern that is real and not just for show. For there are times that we want our good deeds to be publicized, we want others to know about it. And we even want it  posted on facebook and other social media venues so that others may admire us for what we do.

However, this display of fake charity does not count with the Lord. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-reflection-for-monday-march-10-first.html

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Reflection: “You did it to me.”

The gospel is about the Last Judgment. It is the “how” of the Last Judgment. The basis of the last judgment is simple yet very basic. It is how we react and respond to the demands of human needs. Thus, we will be judged not on the talents and skills we have acquired. We will not be judged on the prestige and fortune we have earned. It is not about the popularity and degrees we have gained. But it is how far we have extended our help. Yes, it is how much we helped.

The help required from us are the most common and essential needs of man: food, clothing and shelter. They are not expensive clothing, or very sumptuous meals, or cozy shelter. What is asked from us is to attend to the needs of others, to be sensitive to their situation and to do something for them. Thus, it is a challenge for us to be more charitable. We are asked to be more merciful. And this mercy should be seen and translated into actions.

The people mentioned in today’s gospel – prisoner, beggar, hungry and without clothing – are all insignificant and ordinary people. And those whom we consider as insignificant, ordinary and nobody are really those whom we meet everyday. They are all around us.

Thus, there is no need for us to seek out for them. But they need us to help them. They represent Christ. And in them, we have to see Christ asking us to get involved. So to help them is to reach out to Christ. To ignore them is to ignore Christ. To neglect them is to neglect Christ. He reminds us, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it to me,” (v. 40).

Now, how diligently have we fulfilled the works of mercy? They are our passports to heaven. To perform those works of mercy will make us worthy to hear the final verdict of Jesus for us: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you,” (v. 34).

Story: During the pontificate of Blessed Pope John XXIII, he gave an advice to an American bishop. The good pope said, “When you face Jesus Christ in eternity, he will not ask you how you got along with the Roman Curia, but how many souls you have saved.”

Challenges: This is my resolution: that a day should never pass without me doing good things, or being useful or helpful to others.

How do I help? Is it with love? is it out of fairness and out of charity? Is it with a smile and with willingness? Or am I just forced to help because I am after something? (Msgr. Ruperto C. Santos, STL, Jesus Serves and Saves Us! Makati: St. Pauls 2003:34-36).

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PRISON MINISTRY – “I was in prison, and you visited me.” – Matthew 25:36

I consider it a blessing that, as part of my job as the top Philippine diplomat in the United Arab Emirates, I am able to visit our compatriots who are serving sentences for immoral, financial and other crimes.

As part of the relationships that we established with friendly Emirati officials when I was assigned in the UAE before, Philippine officials are always welcome to visit during diplomatic visitation days. They allow me to bring along the bishop and priests to give counseling and sometimes hear the confessions of our compatriots and other Catholic prisoners.

Recently, I got a call from a Filipino asking the embassy and the community to give them support while they’re in jail. In the spirit of bayanihan (collective heroism for a common cause), I promised to continue exhorting our financially able overseas Filipinos to extend aid to them.

It’s easy to be complacent when life is good. But the Lord reminds us that there are many others who languish in unfortunate circumstances. In our blessedness, let’s not forget those who need God’s touch and presence through us. Grace R. Princesa (grprincesa@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Sometimes people are in prison even when they’re not in jail.

Lord, help us to “visit” and extend compassion to our brethren who are not just inside prison cells but may also be imprisoned inside their hurts, pains and sins.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-23

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BE BLAME WORTHY TO BE PRAISEWORTHY – When former NBA legend Magic Johnson announced to the world that he had contracted the dreaded virus HIV that leads to AIDS, he was calm and composed. In a later interview, he revealed that when he learned about his condition, his initial question to God was, “Why me?” A commentator in a related article suggested that while Magic could ask, “Why me?” he should also ask, “Why not?”

I think the commentator’s point is that when good things happen to us, we take it as a matter of course. But when bad things happen to us, we instinctively ask, “Why me?” We are quick to embrace praise even when we don’t deserve it, but we are slow to admit blame even when we deserve it. My point is this: We are responsible beings. We are gifted with reason, freedom and free will. Because of this, we can be praiseworthy. But by the same token, we are also blameworthy.

There is a spirituality that tends to focus only on the salvation of God — He is love and merciful, everyone will be saved. I call this the feel-good Christianity. While there is good reason to believe so and to hope so, it is grossly irresponsible to ignore that God is also just. Today’s Gospel illustrates this clearly. When the Lord comes in the end times, we will be judged. Some will be saved (v. 34), some will be damned (v. 41).

Ask any Bible-reading Catholic what John 3:16 says and at the blink of an eye, they would surely rattle off: “For God so loved the world…” But ask the same persons what Revelations 3:16 says, and you would be lucky if one or two would know what it is about. God Himself is speaking there. He says, “…because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” No wonder very few pay attention to it.

We are quick to claim praise, but we are slow to admit blame. May we not forget — if we are not blameworthy, we cannot also be praiseworthy. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: How we use our freedom will define what it will be like for us when we face the Lord in judgment. Let’s make sure we see each other in heaven.

Make me Your constant steward, Lord. May I dispose all of me to glorify Your name. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-23

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MONDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT (YEAR B) – MATEO 25:31-46. Unsa may mensahe sa sambingay sa “Katapusang Paghukom”? Ang maong sambingay naghatag kanato’g dakong rason nganong angayng higugmaon ang isigkaingon, ilabina ang mga kabos. Ang Dios nga Hari miingon: “Sultihan ko kamo nga bisan unsay inyong buhaton ning ubos kong mga igsoon, inyo kining gibuhat kanako”. Atong masabtan sa sambingay nga ang pagtabang sa uban makaayo dili lamang sa mga kabos kondili sa ato usab nga kalag. Diha sa pagtubag sa panginahanglan sa uban, atong maangkon ang kaluwasan. Busa, dili nato angayng baliwalaon ang mga kabos nga atong mahinagbo matag karon ug unya. Inigkagabii, sa dili pa kita matulog, tan-awon nato ang atong kaugalingon diha sa salamin ug pangutan-on, “Unsa may nahimo nimo karong adlawa para sa mga kabos mong igsoon?” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/02/monday-of-1st-week-of-lent-year-b.html

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WORD Today
February 23, 2015
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Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Matthew 25:31-46
Please read the Bible passages first:
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022315.cfm
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God the Father said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18, First Reading)

God the Son said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40, Gospel)

And St. Augustine said, “Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As He says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.”

At the Sunday Mass yesterday, we saw Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Today, Monday of the first week of Lent, Jesus invites us see Him and love Him in our neighbor, in the least of our brothers and sisters.

Lent challenges us to produce the fruits that Jesus desires to see in the lives of those for whom He had shed His blood. For our guidance, the Church has identified and classified these fruits of love into two groups: the Corporal (“of the body” or physical) and the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY:
– Feed the hungry
– Give drink to the thirsty
– Clothe the naked
– Shelter the homeless
– Visit the sick
– Visit those in prison
– Bury the dead

SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY:
– Admonish sinners
– Instruct the ignorant
– Counsel the doubtful
– Comfort the sorrowful
– Bear wrongs patiently
– Forgive injuries
– Pray for the living and the dead

The good works that flow from our love of God are the kind of offerings that make Jesus smile, seeing that He had not died in vain after all.
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Video:
PEOPLE NEED THE LORD
youtube.com/embed/PiWn3Ov8iGY

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February 15, 2016

REFLECTION: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This injunction of God, as we find it in today’s first reading, may sound baffling to some Christians who wrongly equate love of self with selfishness. But those are in reality two quite different—and opposite—loves. This is how it all works out.

Our selves are created by God, who declares them “very good” (Gen 1:31). Therefore our selves deserve to be loved, because they are indeed lovable. Unfortunately sin destroyed the harmony existing within the self. The self was fractured into two selves from then on: one of these retained its natural goodness, its natural attraction to God as to the self’s supreme fulfillment. Under God’s grace, that self gives itself more and more to its Creator and Lover. But the other fragmented part of man—let us call this his ego—remained stubbornly fixated in its rebellion against God, in its desire to be the center of the universe. Since the original sin of Adam and Eve, all humans are thus born with a fragmented inner nature having two sides, the self and the ego. Since then, each of us must choose between loving the good self turned toward God and neighbor or loving the ego and becoming a monster of egoism. Thus the love of the self is highly desirable. It is the very opposite of ego-love or egotism.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

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