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Sunday, June 13, 1999

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11th Sunday Ordinary Time

Exodus 19:2-6
Romans 5:6-11
Psalm 100
Matthew 9:36—10:8

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producing the fruit of love

"God proves His love for us." —Romans 5:8

In this time after Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is trying to produce in us His fruit of love (Gal 5:22), for without love even the greatest gifts of the Spirit amount to nothing (1 Cor 13:1-3). We "love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). Therefore, the first step in producing the fruit of love in our hearts is to let the Spirit pour out His love in our hearts (Rm 5:5) and to help us know and believe in this love (1 Jn 4:16). Then, as God's beloved, we will love God, ourselves, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

To produce the fruit of love, the Holy Spirit helps us realize the love God has for us by focusing our attention on Jesus' crucified love. "It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us" (Rm 5:8). "Is it possible that He Who did not spare His own Son but handed Him over for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides?" (Rm 8:32) Jesus' death on the cross for love of us is the definitive proof of God's perfect, unconditional, infinite, and everlasting love for us.

"Beloved, if God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another" (1 Jn 4:11). "Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God" (1 Jn 4:7). Come, Holy Spirit, to produce the fruit of love.

Prayer:  Father, make me "grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge" (Eph 3:18-19).

Promise:  "The harvest is good but laborers are scarce. Beg the Harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest." —Mt 9:37-38

Praise:  Praise Jesus, crucified and risen Lord of life and love! Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998