February 14.   Valentine’s Day.  David mused, “Of course this day is all about love but is there something special and unique about God choosing an appropriate helper.  How can we really judge whether two people fit well together, or are made for one another?   It often feels like that in the beginning of a relationship but why doesn’t it last?   I once saw a series of pictures about being a good fit.  Two nice round balls don’t necessarily fit well together.  It wasn’t two perfect halves of an apple but sometimes quite jagged with rough edges that need to be smoothed out. Maybe that is why roses have thorns too.

Genesis 2: 18-25.   It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him. This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. ”   

Pope Francis. Loving another person involves the joy of contemplating and appreciating their innate beauty and sacredness which is greater than my needs. AL 127

February 17.  Sunday 6C.   The elderlies shared, “I just read an article about life in a simple, rural setting where materialism and consumerism had not yet reared its ugly head. Loving families were genuinely happier than in our modern urban society where there are always demands for more, more land, more jobs, more money.”  “We do forget, but is it possible?”  “What have we done to ourselves that has taken away our sense of blessedness?   Can we ever recover it?”

Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you that weep now for you shall laugh.     Luke 6:20-26   

Pope Francis.    In a consumerist society the sense of beauty is impoverished and so joy fades.  Everything is there to be purchased, possessed or consumed, including people.  Tenderness is a sign of a love free of selfish possessiveness.   AL 127

Adam and Eve first mourning.

February 18.   “What is really behind the story of Cain and Abel? I’ve always found it confusing,” Frank asked.  “Was Cain’s sacrifice to God not good enough and rejected?”   “Was his sin jealousy of his brother whose sacrifice was accepted?”   “Is the message that we have to be aware of our negative traits, like jealousy, and work to overcome them?”   Family murders have been in the news again recently and there too one wonders what it is that drives a father, or a mother to kill those they are meant to love?”

The Lord said to Cain, “why are you angry? If you do well will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door, its desire is for you but you must master it.   Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:1-15. 

Pope Francis.  Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being.  Love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves.   AL 95.

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