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Reflection for February 2022

Community Word
The grace of God empowers us to lovingly respond to Christ’s calling.
“…Be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord…” (1 Cor 15:58)
For the month of February, the discerned Community Word inspires us to pursue our mission – The grace of God empowers us to lovingly respond to Christ’s calling. We are all called to mission, a mission that gives meaning to life. A mission where we will grow in our relationship with the Lord and lead us to fulfillment that we long for. It is only by God’s grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we can respond and pursue our mission with love in our hearts. For without love, our mission will be futile and purely lip service. St. Paul tells us: “…Be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord…” (1 Cor 15:58)
The Themes and Promises for this month highlight the virtue of love, February being traditionally the season of love. And as Christians, we know that there is a deeper and more profound meaning on what love really is. As we commit more time and share our talents in service and ministry works, we realize that our primary motivation for all the things we do is love – anchored in the love of God. We are inspired by the character of Jesus and we draw strength from His teachings. For how else can we endure the challenges of everyday life and the struggles of serving Him if we are not motivated by the love exemplified and witnessed to us by Jesus Himself?
Let us then reflect on the love of Christ and His inspirations so that we may truly answer His call to be His true disciples.
The theme for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We lovingly respond to Christ’s calling when we preach and witness to the Gospel. In the gospel reading, though initially unsure of himself, we see Peter obeying the instruction of Jesus. And the miracle happened – a huge catch of fish, which is actually a metaphor for his eventual mission – “from now on you will be catching men,” (Lk 5:10). The first demand of discipleship is the willingness to listen and readiness to obey. As Christ’s disciples, are we good followers, listening and obedient to what the Lord is telling us? We can only respond to Jesus’ call with love if we have those qualities which he has taught us. Being attentive and obedient to Jesus is loving Him. As we do, we can declare this promise: “The Lord will complete what He has done for me…Your kindness O Lord endures forever,” (Ps 138:8).
We lovingly respond to Christ’s calling when we are kind-hearted to others, is the theme for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Who are blessed? In the gospel, Jesus proclaims that the poor, the weeping and those persecuted are blessed. Being blessed is not measured by the material possessions and the pleasures we experience, not by being rich, famous or powerful. St. Augustine, once a man of the world, has this realization: “If you have God you have everything, even if you don’t have anything else; and if you have everything else but you don’t have God, you have nothing at all; and the one who has God plus everything else doesn’t have anything more than the one who has God alone.” Being blessed, therefore, is when we are righteous before God, when we are willing to respond to serve and be kind, motivated by the love of Christ that we experience in our own life. We are gifted to give. When we recognize the marginalized, the poor, and the under-privileged, those who suffer injustice, and we empathize with them, we will all share in God’s promise, “Behold, your reward will be great in heaven,” (Lk 6:23).
The readings of the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time bring us to this theme – We lovingly respond to Christ’s calling when we are merciful and forgiving to those who have wronged us. We are exhorted to love the unlovable and even our enemies, not to judge but to forgive without condition. And it is clear that the command of the Lord has to be done in every situation and circumstance. This is tough and in reality we often fail. But all we have to do is to walk with Jesus through prayer, go deeper into His word, and serve the poor, the physically, emotionally and spiritually challenged. And as we learn to be forgiving especially to those who are difficult to forgive, we too will be forgiven of our own failures, for “He pardons all your iniquities and heals all your ills,” (Ps. 103:3). The Lord is kind, merciful and compassionate to those who love His people.
Finally, the theme for the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We lovingly respond to Christ’s calling when we store goodness in our heart. It is as if we hear Jesus asking us these questions: Where is your investment? Who is your greatest love? Where is your heart? We cannot speak about Jesus if we do not experience Him personally. We cannot declare His goodness if we do not encounter Him closely in our life. How blessed are we as workers in His vineyard! Our community worship, teachings, word sharing and mission works are opportunities that lead us to an intimate relationship with God. Are these not sure investments to gain our heavenly inheritance and experience the joy in the kingdom of God? When we love God with all our heart, mind and soul, we will always experience the abundance of life. God’s promise in Psalm 92:15 declares, “They shall bear fruit even in old age, vigorous and sturdy shall they be.”
In all that we do, praise God!
Dear Lord, by the power and the inspiration of your Most Holy Spirit, help us to be firm, steadfast and always fully devoted to the work that you have commanded us to do, knowing that in You our labor is not in vain. Make us always aware that you are our treasure. May everything that we do be rooted in love because that is what will please and honor You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, intercede for us. Amen.

February 6, 2022 – Is 6:1-21, 3-8/ Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8/ 1 Cor 15:1-11/ Lk 5:1-11
February 13, 2022 – Jer 17:5-8/ Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6/ 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20/ Lk 6:17, 20-26
February 20, 2022 – 1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23/ Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10/ 1 Cor 15:45-49/Lk 6:27-38
February 27, 2022 – Sir 27:4-7/ Ps 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16/ 1 Cor 15:54-58/ Lk 6:39-45


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