Saturday of the 1st Week of Lent
“Even the pagans do as much”
I must confess I found today’s gospel mind-blowing when I first read it many years ago. In fact, I still need to read this passage time and again to remind myself of what I am supposed to do.
As someone who has worked in corporate life for years, I am well acquainted with office politics. While I am blessed to now be doing something I love in a nurturing environment, it was not always the case. I had found myself in toxic environments where ‘enemies’ would be targeted, even if they did not do anything to deserve it. Often, it could be due to competition for promotions, bonuses or recognition and in the dog-eat-dog world that is corporate life, everything is fair game. It was, for this reason, why I chose to leave and be self-employed for a few years.
We see the early Christian community live this attitude in the book of Acts, where they gathered in love. This way of living, in fact, drew many into their fold, who wanted to have the same thing. People looked at them and clearly identified them as Christians.
For so many of us, however, others find it challenging to identify us as Christians by looking at how we live. We behave like everyone else; there is little we do (other than our going to church, or praying our grace before meals) that will result in others looking at us and going, “Who are these people, and why are they acting the way they are? I want to be like them!” The last thing I would want is for someone to look at the way I am living, and go, “So what?”
Let us constantly reflect on our lives using the gospel passage of today. What our Lord expects of us is what is typically done. We tend to react to our environment; if people are rude to us, we are, likewise. If people are kind, then we are likely to reciprocate.
Instead of being reactors, let us be actors. Let us act deliberately — to love our enemies and pray for them. Let us allow our lives to be a reflection of our faith, and not have others go… “so what?”
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: We pray for the strength and wisdom to live the life of a true Christian. Help us to grow in this path, every day.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for showing us how to truly live our lives. We are grateful for Your grace.