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Our Call to Care for One Another

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:37 pm    Post subject: Our Call to Care for One Another Reply with quote

Our Call to Care for One Another

Scripture:


(Moses said to the the people) Yet so if you hear the voice of the Lord your God, and keep his precepts and ceremonies, which are written in this law: and return to the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. This commandment, that I command you this day is not above you, nor far off from you: Nor is it in heaven, that you should say: Which of us can go up to heaven to bring it unto us, and we may hear and fulfill it in work? Nor is it beyond the sea: that you may excuse yourself, and say: Which of us can cross the sea, and bring it unto us: that we may hear, and do that which is commanded? But the word is very nigh unto you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
(Deuteronomy 30:10-14)

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and in him. And he is before all: and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it has well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in heaven.
(Colossians 1:15-20)

And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life? But he said to him: What is written in the law? How do you read it? He answering, said: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with all your strength and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself. And he said to him: You have answered right. This do: and you shall live.

But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who also stripped him and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead. And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan, being on his journey, came near him: and seeing him, was moved with compassion: And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence and gave to the host and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever you shall spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay you. Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to him that fell among the robbers? But he said: He that showed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do you in like manner.

(Luke 10:25-37)

Reflection:

From the time of Moses, the commandments of the Lord have been presented to us. Some see them simply as a list of rules. Some view them as obstacles to fulfilling their desires. Some twist their meaning and some simply ignore that to which they call us. The heart open to God, though, will observe their wisdom, for they are reminders of the love to which we are called and the love of which we are called to share. They are not beyond our ability to keep. Only our choice stands in the way.

To provide us with an example of His love, our Heavenly Father sent us His only begotten Son to instruct us in His ways. He did not come to change the law, (cf. Matthew 5:17-19) but to help us comprehend the love which is contained within it and the love by which His commandments guide us. As Jesus taught us, the commandments of God are the commandments of love. (cf. Matthew 22:36-40)

Let us look at each one of them and reflect on that against which they warn us and to what they guide us. They guide us first to love of God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul. They also guide us away from harm to one another so that instead, we may share the blessings of love; the blessings of loving our Creator as well as sharing in love with the children of His creation.

Of course, we say, we are happy to share in love with those we love. Certainly we are happy to do for those we love, just as they are happy to do for us; but Jesus teaches us such sentiment is not sufficient, for He asks us, ?Do not tax collectors and pagans do the same?? (cf. Matthew 5:46-47) Jesus challenges us further, to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44) He calls us to extend our care for one another even to those who display animosities towards us and the Word of our Lord. ( cf. Matthew 5:43-48 )

In our caring, let us encourage one another in the ways of love. This is the harder means by which to gain the attention of those who do not see harm in their behavior. Indeed, we are told, those who do not acknowledge nor invite the Holy Spirit within can comprehend as those with hearts open to the Spirit of Truth. (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:6-1Cool The worldly look to worldly justifications, but the faithful look beyond the ways of the world to the ways of the kingdom of heaven, where love is shared by all.

The task of caring for another, especially those filled with disdain and vitriol against us, for whatever reason, is perhaps our greatest test of our commitment to the love to which He calls us. When we recognize our own heart filling with darkness towards another, we must stop, pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us, so what comes from us is not a reflection of darkness, but an encouraging light.

This does not mean that as we engage one another that to love means to accept or enable sin. If we observe someone doing harm to themselves, is it love to enable them to further their efforts? Certainly, we are called not to judge, (Matthew 7:1-5) but if we are to fulfill the commandments of love, we must look to means by which to reject sin, without rejecting the one who struggles with the temptations of sin. The act of love is to help another reject that which waits at the door to do harm to their soul. The act of love is to encourage and help them to rule over their temptations rather than to enable their justifications to give in to their temptations. (cf. Genesis 4:7)

It truly is the more difficult task, but God never promised us all would be easy in doing what He asks of us. His promise is to show us a better way and to help us see all the blessings He offers through living the fullness of faith. Let us, then, open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. Let us allow His Holy Word to guide us. Let us ask in prayer for the wisdom, courage, and strength by which to care for those who surround us, those in need, and the less fortunate. Let us share our love for Him through caring for one another.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we view the commandments of the Lord and the blessings we may share by living them?

In what ways do we seek the strength of the Lord to guide us through our weakest moments?

In what ways may we encourage one another to live according to the commandments of the Lord so all may share of the blessings of love?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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