Thursday, September 10, 2015

"He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end."

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway. – Mother Teresa: (Catholic nun and foundress of the Missionaries of Charity)

Gospel Text: (Lk 6:27-38)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

After reading today’s gospel from Mass, I am reminded of the motto of the Jesuits to do everything for the greater glory of God.  If I can keep this in mind, then my actions and my words will ring true.  I sometimes have to ask myself about my motives for doing things especially when my feelings are hurt for being ignored while others are complimented.  Am I doing these things to serve God?  Did I serve God with these actions?  If I can answer yes to these questions, then I should be satisfied.  While I may be stung temporarily by the slight or carelessness of others, I can refocus on the true purpose of my actions and remind myself that my Father knows my name and what I am doing.  It is not about me, rather about serving Him and serving Him with love and gratitude!

Ah, but that takes too much time and effort in our society. We have to look out for ourselves. We have to be “happy”. We have to focus on our own needs and make sure the people around us can fill them. Love is too demanding. The Gospel is too difficult and unrealistic. And Christ is crucified again. – Sadly, does this sound familiar?

The words of St Paul in the first reading at today’s Mass (Col 3:12-17) say it best:

“singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.

If we love one another,
God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.”

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