February 23 Numbers 6-7 & Romans 14
The author of Numbers shares with us a beautiful blessing, “This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! So, shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.” We are adopted as God’s chosen people so, we to are blessed. Receiving God’s blessing offers us peace, not as the world gives, but as God does. God’s peace is Jesus Christ. God’s peace comes from know whose you are and living from that gift.
Paul challenges the Romans not to be judgmental. Paul and Pope Francis are on the same page, especially when Paul says, “Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant?” While we are always ready to help our neighbor in need, we can trust our neighbor to let us know his or her need. Paul goes on to say, “Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God…” “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit; whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another.” What leads to peace is Christ. By seeking Christ in our words and deeds, we are blessed with his real presence. The peace of Christ be with you always!