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Friday, March 14, 2003

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Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130
Matthew 5:20-26

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fair to middlin'?

"The Lord's way is not fair!" —Ezekiel 18:25

When someone, even God, acts in a way contrary to our standards, we claim that the person is unfair. When we begin to see how God does things, we move toward the conclusion that God's thoughts and ways are very different than ours (Is 55:8-9). Then we are tempted to "say, 'The Lord's way is not fair!' " (Ez 18:25)

One of our standards is to "rest on our laurels," to take it easy after we've already worked hard. This standard may be acceptable in some cases, but it is never acceptable in our relationship with the Lord. Those in love are not content with merely having given love; rather, they want to love more deeply in the present and even more and more deeply in the future. Those in love are never satisfied with the depth of their love. They are not complacent. They consider it almost sinful merely to maintain the status quo in giving love.

The nature of love is to break new ground, strive for excellence, and go to extremes. In effect, the nature of love is the cross of Jesus. "The Lord's way is not fair!" (Ez 18:25) It is beyond "fair;" it is the way of love and mercy. It is the way of the cross.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to love You with abandon.

Promise:  "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Mt 5:23-24

Praise:  Elaine found herself at a retreat with a fellow student who irritated her. At the sign of peace, they forgave each other. They spent a joyous retreat together in the Lord.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002