Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

Yesterday I posted the readings for the day.  I am going to do the same today but I will offer a few more thoughts after them.  These thoughts have come to mind after reading and contemplating on God’s word today.  I hope they make sense to all of you reading this.

Reading 1 2 TM 3:10-17

You have followed my teaching, way of life,
purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions,
and sufferings, such as happened to me
in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra,
persecutions that I endured.
Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me.
In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.
But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse,
deceivers and deceived.
But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching,
for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

Responsorial Psalm 119:157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 168

R.    (165a)  O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Though my persecutors and my foes are many,
I turn not away from your decrees.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Permanence is your word’s chief trait;
each of your just ordinances is everlasting.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Princes persecute me without cause
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I wait for your salvation, O LORD,
and your commands I fulfill.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I keep your precepts and your decrees,
for all my ways are before you.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.

Alleluia JOHN 14:23

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:35-37

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
“How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.

We have a lot to deal with in our lives these days.  We are a nation in turmoil; we are a nation fighting against each other on so many different fields – political, racial, religious, financial, pandemic – and each one of those can be broken down into so many different topics.  What came to my thoughts this morning (and as I’ve said before, I believe it to be the Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts) was to look at the author of the 2nd letter to Timothy we read this morning.  Who is it that penned this letter to Timothy?  We know him to be St. Paul, one of the biggest evangelical men of all time, yet one of the most brutal men to Christians – OF ALL TIME – at one point in his life.  What changed him?  Jesus Christ.  We all know the story so I’m going to repeat it here in this post.  My point is that Jesus Christ can change even the most hardened, oppressive, bigoted men to a point where they are made saints.  St. Paul isn’t the only one whom Christ has converted and I believe those conversions can still be made by God today.  So as we all continue to post about the brutalities of man against man, how about each one of us take some time today to pray for the conversion of those persecutors.  In all of the stories I’ve read on social media, in all of the Twitters from the numerous Bishops that I follow on Twitter, on all of the Catholic sites I follow on Twitter, on all of the personal “likes” that show up on my Twitter from people I follow, they all state their support for George Floyd; they all talk about the need for protests; many of them blame the political party for which they don’t support.  In short, I’ve read a lot of angry posts these past couple of days, weeks, months.  What I haven’t read – and I find this disturbing, especially from all of the Bishops – the Shepherds of the flock – NOT ONE has stated that they would pray for conversion of Derek Chauvin,  Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao.  If we truly want to combat evil, racism, political strife we must turn to God to do this. Only in God will our souls be at rest; whatever you ask of God – in the name of Jesus – will be provided to you.

R.    (165a)  O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Though my persecutors and my foes are many,
I turn not away from your decrees.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Permanence is your word’s chief trait;
each of your just ordinances is everlasting.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Princes persecute me without cause
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.

Let’s read again from the words of one of the most ruthless bigots to ever walk the earth.  No longer Saul, that ruthless bigot, but now Paul – St. Paul – one willing to offer his life in order that Christ’s message be brought to ALL men.

But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse,
deceivers and deceived.
But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.

Do something great for our Lord today – do something great for mankind today – pray for the conversion of those four men responsible for the death of George Floyd.  God created all of us in His image, in His likeness; He created all men and women to be equal  – not one receives more or less love from God.  Pray for the conversion of all who don’t believe that truth.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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