Weekly Missionary Reflection
7th Ordinary Sunday, 19 February 2023
Lev. 19:1-2,17-18; Ps. 103:1-2,3-4,8,10,12-13; 1Cor. 3:16-23; Matt. 5:38-48
Dear beloved missionaries,
The common answer to the question “What do you really expect, wish and dream in your life?” is “I want to be happy!” No matter what we expect, wish, or dream, the final aim is to be happy. Even a lot of motivators or quotes will always remind us, “Don’t forget to be happy!” or “Choose to be happy!” How about you?
To the above question, we seldom have the answer to “I want to be holy”. Holiness seems unfamiliar and strange. Actually, this is the basic mission and highest aim for each of us, namely HOLINESS! This is the main mission of a Catholic. Hence, live as a Catholic. Be an extraordinary Catholic, not an inferior one!
HOLINESS. This is what the Lord’s word offers and emphasizes today. The First Reading quoted from the Book of Leviticus obviously says, “By holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” The second reading of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians also says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? […] For the temple of God, which you are, is holy.” Jesus also highlighted this holy calling in the sermon on the mount as told in the Gospel of Matthew, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Hence, be a Catholic plus, not a poor one!
So what are the steps to be a perfect Catholic that is heading to the level of holiness?
First, we have to always remember and be reminded as a faith of believing: “Be holy. You are the temple of God, the Spirit of God dwells in you. The temple is holy, and you are the temple!” Remember and bear in mind Jesus’ calling: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Keep this word of the Lord as your golden verse which will be constantly recited and echoed in your heart along with your breath. “Can I?” Trust that we can for the Spirit of God dwells in us.
Second, do this positive action: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. Love your neighbor as yourself!” Keep on doing and practicing this from the smallest and simplest one. Start doing positive “loving commandments” of the Lord from our minds and sense. Fill our minds and feeling with the positive and love. Then flow to a simple attitude and action which is small but filled with love. Do this starting from the smallest circle in our family, neighbor, and working environment and then reaching to bigger society like markets, bus stops, or any public areas. From little loving actions, we will grow to be a person with abundant of love.
Third, obey the Lord’s commandment as told in today’s mass: “Do not hate your brother. Do not take revenge, and do not hold grudges! Do not deceive yourself, yet be honest!” Hatred and grudges are waste in the heart. This waste will become poison if held and kept. When it becomes poison, it will destroy our life. Therefore, get rid of that waste. To do this, we have to be honest with ourselves and not take revenge. On the other hand, Jesus teaches us even more sternly, “Love your enemies! Do not resist those against you. But, when someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” So, let’s be a Catholic plus, not a false one!”
(RD. M Nur Widipranoto- National Director of Pontifical Mission Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church of this month:
We pray that parishes, placing communion at the center, may increasingly become communities of faith, and fraternity and welcome those most in need.
For Economic Recovery
We pray that government together with the people may work hand in hand in speeding up the economic recovery, so that the result can be used for people’s welfare, especially for the poor and needy.