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Sunday, September 9, 2001

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Psalm 90
Luke 14:25-33

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supreme and extreme love

"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be My disciple." —Luke 14:26, our transl.

A traditional hymn begins: "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All, how can I love Thee as I ought?" We love Jesus as we ought by loving Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27). When we give our "all" to Jesus, our relationship with Him is in a class by itself (see Lk 14:26). When we love Jesus as we ought, we die to ourselves and take up our crosses daily (Lk 14:27; 9:23). When we make Jesus our Lord, God, and All, we renounce all our possessions (Lk 14:33). We are owned by God (see 1 Cor 6:19-20), and everything we supposedly own belongs to Him.

To love Jesus as He ought to be loved seems to be extreme, and it is. Nevertheless, Jesus loved us to the extremities of the cross. Consequently, to love Him rightly means to give Him nothing less than everything. To give all to Jesus is the most and the least that we can do. He alone died on the cross for love of each of us. He is God. He must be loved accordingly. By grace, we can love Him as He ought to be loved. Love Him Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16).

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

Promise:  "Who ever knew Your counsel, except You had given Wisdom and sent Your Holy Spirit from on high?" —Wis 9:17

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who holds "the keys of death and the nether world!" (Rv 1:18)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001