March 2, 2021

… Cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

In this Old Testament passage, we have a stark reminder that God does not want us simply to do no wrong; God wants us to do what is right and have the same deep concern for the weak and poor that he does. Jesus reinforces that message in the New Testament in many places. Perhaps the best known is the commandment that he left us at the Last Supper: that we should love one another with the same love he has shown for us.

That is not a popular message in our society at this time. It seems far easier to give tax breaks to millionaires than to provide food stamps for needy children. Relief money for those laid off because of the coronavirus? Please! Concern for asylum seekers and immigrants? Out of the question.

Politics aside, we have a reminder early in the Lenten season that our piety should consist in more than saying extra prayers, reading the Scripture more, or other external works. It implies a real change of hearts to think and feel the same way that Jesus did. His value system should become ours. That involves a concern for our fellow men and women that moves us to do something about their needs.

We are reminded of this at every Mass. Not only in scripture passages like those we have today. All Mass prayers are in the plural. We are all brothers (and sisters), Jesus tells us in the gospel passage. Our communion is meant to be a common union with one another. True piety must take us into the heart of Christ.

What can I do for others today?

Let Us Pray:

During this Lenten season, O loving God, grant that I may truly acquire the mind and heart of Christ.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.