Saturday of the First Week of Lent




Saturday of the First Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 229

1st Reading – DT 26:16-19

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Verse Before The Gospel – 2 COR 6:2B

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Gospel – MT 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Call to Perfection

“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

Perfection is our calling, nothing less. The danger in trying to shoot for something less is that you might actually attain it. Then what? In other words, if you settle only for being “pretty good” you might actually become “pretty good.” But pretty good is not good enough according to Jesus. He wants perfection! This is a high calling.

What is perfection? It can seem overwhelming and almost beyond reasonable expectations. We may even get discouraged at the idea. But if we understand what perfection really is, then we may not be intimidated by the thought at all. In fact, we may find ourselves deeply desiring it and making it our new goal in life.

At first, perfection can seem like something only the great saints of old lived. But for every saint we may read about in a book, there are thousands more that have never been recorded in history and many other future saints living today. Imagine that. When we get to Heaven we will certainly be in awe of the great saints we know about. But think about the countless others that we will be introduced to for the first time in Heaven. These men and women strove for and found the path of true happiness. They discovered they were meant for perfection.

Perfection means we are striving to live each and every moment in the grace of God. That’s all! Just living here and now immersed in God’s grace. We do not yet have tomorrow, and yesterday is gone forever. All we have is this single present moment. And it’s this moment that we are called to live perfectly.

Certainly each one of us can seek perfection for a moment. We can surrender to God here and now and seek only His will in this moment. We can pray, offer selfless charity, make an act of extraordinary kindness and the like. And if we can do it in this present moment then what’s keeping us from doing it in the next moment?

Over time, the more we live each moment in God’s grace and strive to surrender each moment over to His will, we get stronger, and we get holier. We slowly build habits that make each and every moment easier. Over time, the habits we form make us who we are and draw us into perfection.

Reflect, today, upon the present moment. Try not to think about the future, just the moment you have now. Make a commitment to live this moment in holiness and you will be on the road to becoming a saint!

Lord, I do want to be holy. I want to be holy as You are holy. Help me to live each moment for You, with You and in You. I give this present moment to You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.

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