Saturday 1st Week in Lent February 24, 2024

Father Rick’s Two Minute Homily for Saturday 1st Week in Lent
February 24, 2024, Matthew 5:43-48
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022424.cfm

But I Say To You.

Families have their way of saying things to each other. I know only a few phrases in Hungarian. One phrase my Dad said to me when I was a kid was, “You are a “buta mudjad,” that is, “a clumsy kid.” I am not sure about the spelling. Another phrase he said was “Vijas Keekups,” or “Watch out, or you’re going to get a licking (spanking).” People around us who were not family didn’t know what he was saying. I sure did.

Jesus is doing with us, His family, what all families do, say things that we understand and take personally from Him. “You have heard it 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.” Like my Dad, Jesus wants us to pay attention to learn something and sometimes avoid trouble.

We will often fail if we try to love those who annoy us with our own steam or effort. It seems unreasonable that Jesus would expect perfection from us. It is impossible. We are not God, and only God is perfect. Hold on! That is what Jesus expects from us. There is only one way. “I want you to be like Me. Holiness allows Me to be in you, think with you, and love others with you. Fr. Antonio Belsito, a Rosminian priest in England, had a question he asked in a retreat, “Who wants to be a saint? Who wants to get to heaven?”

When I can’t do something Jesus commands me to do, I fall back on the first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. I am not afraid of my poverty to forgive an enemy, even to want to forgive. The enemy becomes my friend because they show me how much I need Jesus to help me be like Him.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Holiness is not the privilege of a few, but the obligation of all.” So, rejoice when we can’t love our enemy. Jesus can love them in us. He is ready, are we? Of course, we are ready. Why would we expect anything less of ourselves when all things are possible with God?

Love Your Neighbor:
Please join me in praying for all baptized Catholics to be faithful to Jesus in the Holy Mass every weekend. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Mother Mary, “I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you, I always want to belong completely to Jesus.” The Surrender Novena – InHeartland. https://inheartland.com/pages/the-surrender-novena

Peace be with you.

Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.
pastor

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