Friday of the Third Week of Lent
Psalm 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
Love My Neighbor?
Today Jesus tells us to love God with everything that we are: heart, soul mind, and strength! How can we tell if we are doing that? It’s very simple. Just reflect on what he said on another occasion: Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do to me (Matthew 25: 34-46).
Over 48 years I have come to realize that as a penitent confesses I often become aware of their personal values. When I choose to tell the person what I have sensed they are often surprised, but pleased. Then I usually suggest that they reflect on the values they have revealed in order that they might more consciously live up to them in their day-to-day affairs.
If you want to be in a comfortable relationship with Jesus, I suggest that you reflect on the quality of your relationship with the people around you – how you treat them, how you react to their oddities, how you judge them, express concern for them, or not, reach out to assist them, or ignore them, use or abuse them, etc. Then ask yourself “How do I feel about my behaviors? If I went to confession today what would I confess about these relationships? What behaviors do I want to try to change? Why?”
Next, ask yourself what values do the changes you would like to make suggest? Then, in a little conversation with Jesus, ask Him to walk with you and help you to follow through on your decision to improve yourself…
Finally, and most importantly, keep up the conversation with Jesus every day, talking with Him as your best friend and confidant – keeping in mind what He said:
Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do to me!
Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., is Retreat Director of Bishop Molloy Retreat House, “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, www.bishopmolloy.org