Intention: For God’s strength and protection for all who care for the world’s persecuted and dispossessed people, that their work may bear the fruits of comfort, peace, and justice.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 6:27-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
From the Eighth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Saint James says, If someone says that he has the faith and that he does not have the works, of what use to him is his faith; can it save him? What would it benefit you, then, to teach your disciples the truths of the faith if you do not teach them to practice good works? For faith that is not accompanied by works is dead.
It will not, then, be enough for you to have instructed your disciples about the mysteries and the truths of our holy religion if you have not helped them learn the chief Christian virtues and if you have not taken an altogether special care to help them put these virtues into practice, as well as all the good of which they are capable at their age. For no matter how much faith they may have or how lively it may be, if they do not commit themselves to practice good works, their faith will be of no use to them.
Eternal Father, you created us to be a people who would live with character and integrity. We pray that you strengthen these gifts within us so that we might never succumb to our weaknesses. Help us to withstand hurt and suffering and never forfeit the dignity that we have as your children. Help us to be true to what we know is right and grant that someday we may all be able to walk with one another in compassion and justice. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.