Thought for the Day – 24 February – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Luke 6:27–38
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”…Luke 6:32
The Lord Himself reminds us: Whoever loves me will keep my commandments. And this is my commandments – that you love one another. So the man who does not love his neighbour does not obey God’s command. But one who does not obey His command, cannot love God. A man is blessed if he can love all men equally. Moreover, if he truly loves God, he must love his neighbour absolutely. Such a man cannot hoard his wealth. Rather, like God himself, he generously gives from his own resources to each man according to his needs.
Since he imitates God’s generosity, the only distinction he draws is the person’s need. He does not distinguish between a good man and a bad one, a just man and one who is unjust. Yet his own goodness of will makes him prefer the man who strives after virtue to the one who is depraved.
A charitable mind is not displayed simply in giving money, it is manifested still more by personal service as well as by the communication of God’s word to others. In fact, if a man’s service toward his brothers is genuine and if he really renounces worldly concerns, he is freed from selfish desires. For he now shares in God’s own knowledge and love. Since he does possess God’s love, he does not experience weariness as he follows the Lord his God. Rather, following the prophet Jeremiah, he withstands every type of reproach and hardship without even harbouring an evil thought toward any man.
For Jeremiah warns us: Do not say: “We are the Lord’s temple.” Neither should you say: “Faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ can save me.” By itself, faith accomplishes nothing. For even the devils believe and shudder. No, faith must be joined to an active love of God which is expressed in good works. The charitable man is distinguished by sincere and long-suffering service to his fellow man, it also means using things aright.”
Saint Maximus the Confessor, Abbot (c 580–662)
May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Perpetual Succour and the angels and saints, pray for us!