“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others. Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:3-5)
I think of kindness and everyday concern for others in the same way you probably do: These are the virtues that civilize our time on earth and give us a sense of completeness as caring human beings living the Gospel of compassion.
St. Paul has sound advice for those of us trying to improve our human condition. Care for one another as Jesus would: love one another as you love yourself, as God loves you.
When relationships are built on a mutual caring, the outcome is always the same: give more/get more. The more a married couple gives to one another in honor and respect, the closer they become. The more family members accommodate one another’s needs, the stronger the ties. We can apply our formula to relationships in our parish and neighborhood, and into bigger circles beyond that. Not surprisingly, the foundation first built at home is often the one we carry with us throughout life.
Today’s Gospel reinforces a second important message that all relationships flourish when we’re honest, especially with ourselves. We may have a tendency to see faults in others before we see our own. But Jesus showed us the way: everyone has the possibility of redemption, even the most sinful among us. The first step is looking at ourselves honestly and then asking for God’s blessing.
Friend, our actions can always be a reflection of God’s love if we make it so. And isn’t that our goal? The greatest gift we have is the invitation to eternal life, the very gift we celebrate as missioners. By caring for one another as Jesus has asked, we are giving and receiving in great abundance, and inviting everyone we know to salvation in Christ.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday, September 27, 2020
Your gospel, Lord Jesus, is a mirror
reflecting back the truth of our world
and the condition of our souls.
Help us see the world aright
and view ourselves with
honesty and humility.
Help us, Lord, to look at others
through Your eyes
to speak to them with Your words
to help them through Your hands
and to love them, if possible,
through Your heart.
Help us to die to ourselves that we
may overcome our selfish ego
and live for others even as You lived for us.
Accept our service and sacrifices
as an offering in spirit and truth
to help You build Your kingdom
here on earth.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso