“The Lord is kind and merciful.” (Ps 103:8)
Jesus is all about showing us the heart of the law. He famously taught that the two greatest commandments were to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This weekend, He shows the fullness of what that means: insisting that “neighbor” is a word that encompasses everybody—including our enemies. He even provides graphic illustrations of how that’s supposed to look like, featuring face slaps and forced marches (something his countrymen recognized from their treatment at the hands of Roman troops).
His insistence was that our love—like God’s love—not be helplessly dependent on how others treat us, but that it takes charge of the situation and bless even our foes. That’s hard, not because it’s weak, but because it requires the strength of God to do it.
The Mass schedule will deviate slightly beginning this week as I prepare to leave town for a weeklong vacation with my sister. There will be no Masses at either St. Veronica or Nativity of the Lord Parishes on Thursday, Friday and Monday, February 23, 24 and 27. Please consider the alternative of attending weekday Mass at any of the other four South Side Parishes. They are close by so check the bulletin for their Mass times. I will return at the dawning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, March 1.
In God’s Time,