Lent 2023 First Reading

Monday of the first week of Lent

Today’s reading is from Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18. According to the study Bible, this is a continuation of the law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. If the Israelites keep these external laws, then it would show their, “intimate union with the Lord.”

What strikes me today is the last two verses, “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart…do not incur sin because of him….Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

These words pierce me and they seem almost impossible to follow. I have my own opinions and they are correct! I am tired of the opinions of my countrymen that I disagree with. Love my neighbor as myself? Difficult!

There are days when I find it a challenge to love my family properly, how am I ever going to get to loving my neighbor that is on “the other side?”

I think the answer came in the Study Bible…I will strive to do it so I can be intimate with my Lord. I cannot be close with my God and at the same time harbor grudges or take revenge on his children, those he loves.

This is going to force a change of thinking and speaking for me, and it will not happen overnight. I need to take this to the Lord in prayer.

Dear God, show me how to love my neighbor as myself. Guard my thoughts and words so that I can show them your love.


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