Daily Bible Reading - February 24, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - February 24, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

1ST WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 1 / (Violet)

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 119: 1-2, 4-5, 7-8: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 26: 16-19

On this day, Yahweh, your God, commands you to fulfill these norms and these commandments. Obey them now and put them into practice with all your heart and with all your soul.

Today Yahweh has declared to you that he will be your God, and so you shall follow his ways, observing his norms, his commandments and his laws, and listening to his voice.

Today Yahweh has declared that you will be his very own people even as he had promised you, and you must obey all his commandments. He, for his part, will give you honor, renown and glory, and set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will become a nation consecrated to Yahweh, your God, as he has declared.

Gospel: Matthew 5: 42-48

You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: love your enemies; and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.

For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much?

And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? As for you, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

REFLECTION:

“Love your enemies.”

All of us will pray for the wellbeing of our loved ones. But whether we admit it or not, not all of us will wish our enemies well. Humanly speaking, to pray for the good of one’s enemy is extremely difficult. But the mandate remains clear: “love your enemies; and pray for those who persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44) Why should we do this?

Jesus challenges us to love our enemies so that we will become the children of the heavenly Father who “makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.” (Mt. 5:45) Does this mean that we are going to passively accept the evil things which our enemies inflict on us? No. It is also part of our sacred duty that while desiring and striving to become God’s children, we also desire that our enemies will also become God’s children too in the process. To pray for the wellbeing of our enemies is only the first step.

To help them change is a further step toward our call to build up God’s family. In our responses to this particular call, our ego and hurts are dissolved.

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