Putting God First
Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time
I will pray during the day for someone who bothers me and seek to put their good before my own.
by Father Paul Campbell, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith
that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even
when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be
similar to the love you have shown to me.Lord, thank you for this
time together. Help me to put aside all obstacles. I believe that you are here with me, that you see
me, that you hear me. Increase my faith. Help me to see that you are involved in my life actively
seeking my good. Help me to love you in all that I do today. Don’t allow me to stray from your will.
Keep me close to you. Guide and protect my family and me.
Petition: Lord, give me the
strength to put you first in my life and others secondalways strive to meet the needs of others
ahead of my own.
1. Putting God First: . The Pharisees had identified 613
commandments in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). Of these, 248 were positive
(“You shall…”), and 365 negative (“You shall not…”). The Pharisees also built up a vast body of
particular applications of the law. If, for example, a conflict arose concerning the law prohibiting
work on the Sabbath, the Pharisees would interpret the Scriptures to reach a verdict on whether or
not the activity should be permitted. We know from the Gospels that the Pharisees interpreted the
Sabbath-rest law to prohibit healing, picking grain in the fields, or even carrying one’s mat. Among
all of this legislation, the people sought some simplification. The question posed to Christ, about
which was the greatest commandment, reflected a genuine concern as well as a common topic of
theological discussion. Jesus’ gives a twofold response
to the question about which of the commandments is the greatestis twofold. He first turns to
Deuteronomy 6:15: “You shall love the Lord your God …” This was familiar to the Jews, for they
recited this passage in prayer (called the “Shema”) several times a day and wrote it on all their
doorposts. For us, as well as for the Jews, it is a constant reminder that God must be first in our
life. As our creator and redeemer, God has an absolute claim on us. We owe him everything.
Everything we have is a gift from him. Too often we shelve God, ignoring him until a convenient
moment arises or it suits our mood. Putting God first in my life means setting aside the best part
of my our day for prayer to him and seeking to live his will at every moment out of love for
2. Becoming “Other-Centered.”: Jesus next turns to the commandment found in
Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbor …” He combines the two commandments in such a way
that one cannot be fulfilled without the other. There can be no love of God without loving other
human persons, made in his image. Nor can love of neighbor exist without a pure and purifying love
for God. Love for neighbor requires putting others ahead of myselfourselves. Self-love and
self-absorption only lead only to loneliness and isolation. Being “other-centered” is the key to our
happiness and fulfillment. To love others means to seek their true good, serving to serve them out
of love for the Lord. We need to come out of ourselves and look beyond the narrow interests of our
egoism and self-love. The more we love authentically, the more fulfilled our life will
Praying for Those Who Harm Us: . It is not easy to break out of selfish habits. Because of
sin, we have the tendency to inflate self-interest in a disordered way. This is not good. We need to
ask for the power of grace to purify our hearts and give us the interior strength to put others
ahead of ourselves. God is ready to give us this grace, but he wants us to ask for it. Difficult
circumstances and relationships need to be met withfaced by prayer and sacrifice. We need to pray
even for those who harm us, and to ask God to give us the grace and strength to love them as God
loves them. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).
Christ: Lord, help me to put you first in my life. So many times I find myself putting other
things ahead of you. I make time for the things I want to do, but I find little time to pray. I find
time to talk to my friends, but little time to speak with you. I need strength from you to love you.
Help me also to see and love others as you do.see them. Help me to love them as you love
Resolution: I will pray during the day for someone who bothers me and seek
to put their good before my own.
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.