March 12, 2021

Each day during Lent, I am highlighting a Lenten Word (or phrase) of the Day from the readings of the day. I encourage you to reflect on this word or phrase and incorporate it in your prayers today.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (from Mark 12:28-24)

NEIGHBOR: Another great word to reflect upon during the Lenten season – neighbor. It serves as yet another reminder that we must look outside of ourselves.

When speaking to the disciples, Jesus used the word neighbor in the universal sense, meaning all who need our help, our support, our love. This can be challenging, as some neighbors are easier to help, support, and love than others.

Jesus’ charge to his disciples, to us, is even more challenging when put into context: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

That means we don’t wait for our neighbor to call out to us for help. No, not if we are loving them as we love ourselves. We are able to love ourselves completely because we care so deeply we anticipate our needs and do everything possible to eliminate or minimize any harm that may come to us. That is how we are called to love our neighbors.

Reflect on this question in your prayer time today: How do I love my neighbors? Do I love them enough to anticipate their needs and stand ready to meet those needs?

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