The Gospel Today
Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora Jr.)
Have you been in love? Have you felt being loved? Can you still remember when, where and how you and your beloved expressed being in love? Of course, in a wholesome way.
Love is one word that can be expressed in so many different and, sometimes, crazy ways. We become ‘fools’ when in love. We suddenly become courageous in saying words of endearment. We lose our sense of embarrassment. We come to be brave in any given situation. We see to it that our beloved is safe. In short, we want the well-being of our beloved. We do everything for our beloved.
Jesus in today’s Gospel emphasizes this love of God. God does not show partiality to righteous or sinners. What is true in God is that He loves no matter what. God is a true lover. He does not choose who to love. One thing which has been so amazing to me of how God expresses His love is through His creation. We are free to discover everything in God’s creation and as we do, we are drawn to the immensity and complexity of nature. The beauty of creation is just one way of how God expresses His love to all. Everyone can enjoy His creation.
But Jesus puts forward a better way of receiving God’s love. God’s love concerns our relationship with others. This is how Jesus teaches how we are to respond to God’s love for us. If God has been loving us, righteous and sinners alike, we must in turn do the same. God, out of His great love for us, has expressed His love in so many ways.
But the greatest expression of all is giving us His Son that He may teach us how to truly love. Jesus does not only teach us how to love, but He has expressed this love when He gave up His life, not only for the righteous but also, and most especially, for the sinners.
Who have you not reconciled with today, a family member or friend? Express love today.