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Friday, October 31, 1997

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Romans 9:1-5
Psalm 147
Luke 14:1-6

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painful love

"I speak the truth in Christ." —Romans 9:1

Paul described his sufferings as follows: "...labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes less one; three times I was beaten with rods; I was stoned once, shipwrecked three times; I passed a day and a night on the sea. I traveled continually, endangered by floods, robbers, my own people" (2 Cor 11:23-26). Paul suffered greatly, and much of this was due to his own people's hatred and persecution of him. Nevertheless, Paul had a deep love for the Jewish people. He even said: "Indeed, I could even wish to be separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen, the Israelites" (Rm 9:3-4).

When your enemies try to put you through hell on earth, do you love them? Do you love them so much that you would do anything for them, even be damned for them, if that were possible? Jesus, Paul, and Christians have had this amazing grace to love enemies. The Lord gives this grace to us, for He cannot command us to love our enemies without giving us the power to do this (Mt 5:44).

"This will prove that" we are sons and daughters of our "heavenly Father, for His sun rises on the bad and the good, He rains on the just and the unjust" (Mt 5:45). Only the Lord and His family treat their enemies better than they treat their friends. Only the Lord and His family love everyone unconditionally. Be like God. Receive a miracle of love. Love deeply those who have hurt you terribly and continue to do so.

Prayer:  Father, I want to be like You. May I shine on my enemies and bless them abundantly.

Promise:  "He took the man, healed him, and sent him on his way." —Lk 14:4

Praise:  "Blessed forever be God Who is over all! Amen" (Rm 9:5).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997