Saturday of the First Week
Jesus, give your strength and encouragement to those, today, who are not well in body or mind or spirit. May they know how close you are to them. Simon Bishop SJ
Entering into prayer
Use this method or any other that suits you.
Choose a longer prayer that you know well. For example, the ‘Our Father’. In time with your breathing, pray each line slowly. Only move on when something of the meaning of that phrase has landed in you.
Today's Scripture (Matthew 5:43-48)
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Food for Thought
We are taught from a very early age to hate other people. We might not like to acknowledge it, but we all learn that there are people like us, and that there are other people who are definitely not like us. Perhaps it is because they come from a different background, perhaps because they wear different clothes, perhaps because they eat differently from us.We build an invisible wall between them and us and, very politely, begin to hate them. Jesus wants nothing to do with those invisible walls because God makes no distinction between the people he has created. He has allowed his face to shine on each and every one of us without exception.To be more like Him, we must allow ourselves to be brothers and sisters of all and remove the obstacles which keep us from one another.
Suggestions for Prayer
Each one of us has been hurt at some time in the past, and for a long time afterwards, we can hold onto feelings of bitterness towards others. For some, praying with a difficult memory can help to bring healing, but only when it is the right time to do so. Do not choose a memory which is still raw or painful but one which is ready to be examined gently for what it contains. Go back to that moment in your imagination and without probing around too deeply, go through what happened. You may feel drawn to talk to the person who hurt you in order to understand why they acted the way in which they did.What were the factors in his or her upbringing or background that contributed to the incident? What else that day might have happened to provoke that outburst?
Try to understand what happened from the other person’s point of view. If you can, and only when you feel ready, express forgiveness and ask the Lord what you might receive as gift through this action of forgiveness.
How are you going to respond today?
Today, help someone else understand the importance of forgiveness though your words, actions or gestures.
Image for the Day
How does this image make you feel?
What do you think Jesus might be saying to you if you were there with him?
How do you think the disciples reacted?