Official Biblical, Liturgical, "Good News" readings.

March 14, 2017


The Cure for Obsessive Love

Reading 1 – IS 1:10, 16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

Responsorial Psalm – PS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 and 23

R. (23B) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Verse Before the Gospel – EZ 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel – MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Reflection

Perhaps in no other time of recorded human history have we witnessed such an explosion of pain, horrible discomfort and downright seriously deranged and troubling behavior caused by an healthy understanding and attachment for what we know when we say the word, “Love.”  Maybe just 20 years ago, most people understood love in sort of generic fashion about the movement of one’s heart but today that definition has literally exploded into many sub-topics and areas that it is really hard to keep up. Just take a look at all these categories that have so much information attached to them:

  • Affection
  • Bonding
  • Broken Heart
  • Compassionate Love
  • Conjugal Love
  • Courtly Love
  • Falling in Love
  • Free Love
  • Friendship
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Intimacy
  • Limerance
  • Love Addiction
  • Love at First Sight
  • Love Triangle
  • Loving Kindness
  • Love-sickness
  • Love-struck
  • Obsessive Love
  • Passion
  • Puppy Love
  • Self-love
  • Unconditional Love
  • Unrequited Love

‘Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD…If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; But if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you:” (First Reading)

The Gospel today completes our thoughts on love on this Lenten Weekday: “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

The only way to address and heal disordered love is to ORDER it: We place God first in our lives, then be His face and voice to our neighbors and loving ourselves with humility and strength.

The beauty of the Scriptures today and of all the Lenten Season is that our God wants to heal us, save us and love us. In this world, there are many false-hopes and false gods that lure us away, not only from God and the love we have in Jesus, but from our very selves.

The verse before the Gospel gives us all hope and determination to place our hearts in the Right Place: “Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” 

Our FatherThe Sixth Petition: “And Lead Us Not into Temptation”

 

When we say “lead us not into temptation” we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin.
This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance. (CCC 2863)

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