Intention: For all persons who struggle with unemployment and economic hardship, that they receive the help and support that they need for themselves and their families.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
From the Ninth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
The zeal you are obliged to have in your work must be so active and so alive that you can tell the parents of the children entrusted to your care what is said in Holy Scripture: Give us their souls; keep everything else for yourselves, that is, what we have undertaken is to work for the salvation of their souls. It is also the only reason you have committed yourselves to take the responsibility to guide and to instruct them.
Tell the parents also what Jesus Christ said about the sheep of which he is the shepherd and which must be saved by him: I came, he said, that they might have life and have it to the full. For this had to have been the kind of ardent zeal you felt for the salvation of those you must instruct when you were led to sacrifice yourselves and to spend your whole life to give these children a Christian education and to procure for them the life of grace in this world and eternal life in the next.
Eternal Father, your Son teaches us to live with a spirit of giving and of mercy. In a world that often admires hardheartedness, we are called to be instruments of your forgiveness and healing. When others extol power and wealth, you remind us to lift up the helpless and the poor. Strengthen us to do the work of building your Kingdom, and sustain us in our faithfulness to your ways of compassion and justness. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with you Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.