6th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 21st February 2020

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St Peter Damian, bishop and doctor

6th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 21st February 2020

Jm. 2:1-4; Ps. 23(22):1-4,5,6;
Mk. 8:34-9:1 (Ps Wk II)

A friendship or deep personal relationship in which love is never expressed in a real and concrete form will soon wither and die. Real love always shows itself in action and deeds, and genuine faith always reaches out to others. James has no patience with a ‘me and Jesus’ sort of spirituality. These are folks who worry only about ‘being saved’, and they are not overly concerned with the wellbeing and happiness of others.

It is easy to wish that the suffering and needy well, and even to pray for them. It costs nothing and requires little effort. But the Gospels are clear that those who clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, visit the sick and imprisoned, and so forth are doing the will of God.

James insists that we must look upon their happiness and wellbeing in the same manner that we would like our own. They are part of us, and we are part of them — and we are all part of the Lord.

Caring for others, of course, requires that we give up our selfish ego, and that is easier said than done. When Jesus tells us we must take up our cross, he does not mean that we are going to die! When he talks about saving, losing, and gaining life, he means that we cannot ‘play it safe’ — protecting not only our life but our comfort and power. We have to be prepared to put everything on the line, holding back nothing from God.

Lord, help me to be concerned with others rather than self.

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