Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time
Matthew 10: 34-11:1
Once we love God as he deserves, we will learn to love others as they truly deserve
Almighty and ever-living God, I seek new strength
from the courage of Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I seek to love you
with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. I want to be led one day to join
the saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God forever and ever.
Jesus, I want to love as you have loved
1. Not Peace but the Sword:
Complacency can be defined as "self-satisfaction
accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies". This is a false peace, even a harmful
peace. It is a self-satisfied peace that lulls us to sleep and can result in the loss of those
things that are truly most valuable in life: God, faith, family, etc.... Jesus comes to interrupt
that false peace by upending the tables of our lives (cf. John 2:15) in an effort to awaken us to
the dangers that our false peace has blinded us to. As he drove out the sheep and oxen from the
temple, so, too, he will use circumstances, trials and difficulties as his "sword" to drive out from
our lives whatever is opposed to God's goodness and our own dignity.
2. Nothing Before
With this phrase we start getting an inkling of the type of sword our Lord is wielding.
He is giving us a criterion that starts from heaven downward because he is trying to lift us from
the earth upward. What natural relationship is closer than the one between a parent and child,
especially a mother and child? Yet even this bond must be subordinate to the love we have for God.
Why? Well, no creature, not even our parents, can bring us to the fullness of life and happiness
that comes only from God. God wants us to love him, not because he needs our love but because we
need him. He is objective reality, and we must always move from the subjective to the objective if
we are to possess the truth. Jesus invites us to adapt our standards from the merely natural and
passing to the supernatural and everlasting.
3. Love of God Is Inclusive Not
Giving a cup of water to one of the least of our brothers and sisters will not go
unrewarded, and therefore, unnoticed. In this way, Jesus shows that he is not calling us to a love
of God that excludes others. The standard of placing God first does not exclude love for mother or
father, sister or brother. Once we love God as he deserves, we will learn to love others as they
truly deserve. In fact, we merit the vision of the God we cannot see by loving the neighbor we do
see. Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, following you demands my all, and at times it seems that
I do not have the strength to give what you ask. Help me to stay close to you in prayer and in the
sacraments so as to have the grace to live the standard of love and generosity that you ask. Mother
Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Today I will make three acts
of self-denial and offer them for someone in need of prayers.