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February 3

FOCUS:  The Lord is my light and my salvation.


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For almost four weeks, the first reading in our weekday liturgy has been from the Letter to the Hebrews. Hebrews was written to a community of Jewish Christians to encourage them to persevere in their new life of faith. Today’s passage begins the conclusion of the letter and contains clear instructions for living a moral Christian life.

Today’s reading starts with both the foundation of our faith and the outcome of practicing the other moral imperatives. “Let brotherly love continue.” (v.1)  Paul said the greatest three attributes for believers were faith, hope, and love, with love being the greatest (see 1 Cor 13). We are exhorted to love one another as the foundation for all that we do.

Hospitality is meant for all, not just those we know and love. The stranger we serve today may be the angel that will appear in our life unexpectedly and bring us God’s blessing. Today’s angels are usually real people who return our loving hospitality with loving gratitude.

Jesus wants us to love not just those who appear in our life. He wants us to get out of our comfort zone and seek to help those imprisoned and others who are mis-treated by society. We are being asked to be merciful, not arrogant or judgmental.

We are told to keep marriage sacred and to above all honor our spouse with fidelity and moral purity. What a contrast this is compared to how marriage is viewed today. Marriage in our society has been reduced to a civil contract that facilitates individual preferences and legal rights. Cast aside by our society is God’s truth that marriage is the human embodiment of the communion of Love that is the Holy Trinity. The holiness that is meant to be the center of a marriage is impossible without a deeper understanding of the beauty and dignity of each individual who enters into the marital covenant. Marriage is for life and has as its purpose the desire for a complete love so great and so complete that we continue God’s work by creating a child out of that love. Parents then raise that child to continue God’s loving plan for all eternity.

Lastly, we are taught that love of money has no place in our foundational love of God and others. If our love of God is strong enough such that we trust in both His providence and His mercy, we can be content with whatever material wealth we receive as a gift from Him.

Today’s first reading provides us a road map to a life of pure and everlasting joy. Every day in our faith journey we come to a fork in the road with two paths. We can take God’s path of sacrificial love and  everlasting joy, or go down Satan’s path of worldly pleasure but eternal damnation.

Which path will you choose today?

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

What change(s) do you need to make to get back on God’s path?

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