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Saturday 1st Week of Lent

Today’s Mass Readings

Saturday 1st Week of Lent

Matthew 5:43-48

We pray for those who persecute us.

“Love your enemies.

Pray for those who persecute you.”
Jesus knows that he is asking a lot from us
when he tells us to love our enemies.

So the next words out of his mouth are,

“Pray for those who persecute you.”
We may have the occasion
when someone directly persecutes,
maybe not for our faith,
but how about the way they drive their car?

How about someone who gossips about us
or someone close to us?
Then there are those noisy neighbors
who play their music so loud.

And that isn’t even mentioning terrorists.
In the heat of the moment,
it is hard to love our enemies.

We might find that we can’t do it,
no matter how much we try.
So we pray.
We pray for those enemies.

We get on our knees,
we go to the chapel before the Blessed Sacrament,
we take into our hand our Rosary and we pray.
That is what St. Paul did
when he was faced with people
who were a constant source of conflict for him.

Jesus told him,
“My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2:Cor.12:9).
Paul learned that the Lord
didn’t remove the troublesome people,
but he endowed Paul with more than he needed
to deal with such people in any situation
and always with love.

The key was that Paul knew his weakness
to do anything himself.
Our weakness opens the floodgates of Jesus’ heart.

All he needs is someone who is needy and willing
to walk in kindness and long-suffering
with people who act ugly.

So we don’t run away.

We don’t fight back.

We pray for those who persecute us.

Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida.

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