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SATURDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT, FEBRUARY 24, 2024

Servant of God

Takashi Nagai

The charred bones of his wife, Midori, were found as a result of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki.






Gospel

Mt 5:43-48

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

love your enemies



Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Christian persecution are but a few horrendous examples of the great malice man inflicts to another and the subsequent miseries. Gossip, slander, cheating, killing, maliciousness, jealousy, indifference, dismissiveness are a multitude of sins that can cause great harm and who bring in hate, discord and dislike in a relationship. A chance for a change, for a new beginning is to be at peace with the past, present and future.


The Commandment of love our neighbor includes our enemies as well. The merciful love from God tells us to walk in His ways and observe His commandments, to love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. Follow the law of the Lord and He will bless you.


My enemy is made in the image and likeness of God. We are one portrait. Are we to be like Cain and question if we are obliged to take care of one another?


We are not to love, however, in our neighbor, that which distorts or is contrary to God's Divine portrait. We are to love with our all, but never gamble with our own salvation.


Can we look at another and say to ourselves that he reminds me of Jesus? Are we ready to serve the sick, care for our neighbor, pray for them, and do what they need, with reason, as long as it is not contrary to or offends God? What we do for love of neighbor should always be pleasing to God.


“Unless you have suffered and wept, you really don’t understand what compassion is, nor can you give comfort to someone who is suffering. If you haven’t cried, you can’t dry another’s eyes. Unless you’ve walked in darkness, you can’t help wanderers find the way. Unless you’ve looked into the eyes of menacing death and felt its hot breath, you can’t help another rise from the dead and taste anew the joy of being alive.”... “We should not hate the people who seem bent upon breaking the calm of peace. If hate arises in our hearts, we will also lose the right to wish for peace. (Servant of God Takashi Nagai) (1)


Today, do something nice for someone who does not like you.


God Bless You


(1) A Song for Nagasaki, The Story of Takashi Nagai, Scientist, Convert and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb by Father Paul Glynn, S.M.

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