Daily Gospel Reflection for March 17, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Luke 6:36-38

I love this Gospel because it lays it out for us. It’s not how many Rosaries we pray, (although you can never pray too many), how many daily Masses we attend, (although we can never attend too many), how many chapel veils we have, (we might could have too many of those and need to share), or how many priests we have had over for dinner, (although the more, the merrier!). We will be judged by God, Himself, on how merciful we have been to others.

Blessed John Paul II’s theology of the body has for its foundation two beautiful philosophies; personalism and phenomenology. Personalism says we must recognize the dignity of every human person created in the image and likeness of God. The scantily clad woman, the man covered in piercings, the dowdy dressed girl and the young man with taped glasses and a pocket protector all have equal dignity to each other and to me. Not one of us is any better than another because we were all created in His image and likeness.

Phenomenology is the philosophy of experience. What has happened in the life of another that has brought them to this point in their life? Does she think the only way to get love, which so craves because she is created by the Trinitarian Love, is to dress immodestly? Is he screaming to be recognized because as a man he is called to something greater but does not know what it is? Is she hiding under her wounds under clothes that are too big? Is he perfectly happy finding cures to diseases and is just concerned with what is functional?

Blessed John Paul II taught this beautiful Gospel passage asking us to look beyond the outer appearance and look within the person to see who they really are. He said, “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the spiritual and the divine,” (TOB 19:4). So we are called to give of ourselves in mercy, in forgiveness, and in love. And when we do, God in His goodness, gives us back far more than we have given.

Ponder:

Do I make assessments of others without knowing their story? Do I judge and hold grudges against perfect strangers?

Pray:

Lord, help me to see others as you see them, looking through the eyes of my heart. Help me to offer mercy and forgiveness rather than condemnation. Amen.

Copyright 2014 Diane Schwind

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