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Tuesday, April 15, 2003

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Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71
John 13:21-33, 36-38

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it's all about love

"I give you a new commandment: love one another. Such as My love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you for My disciples: your love for one another." —John 13:34-35

Why does God permit abortions, racism, wars, natural catastrophes, and injustices? Why do some of the holiest people feel as if they have "toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent" their strength? (Is 49:4) Why is life the way it is?

Although life is a mystery, we can understand it better by understanding the nature of God, the Creator of all life. God is Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), and the purpose of life created by Him is love. We are created and re-created to love Him with all our hearts, to love ourselves, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Lk 10:27). We are redeemed to love as the Lord loves (Jn 13:34) — totally, deeply, and purely.

The Lord orchestrates the events of life to change us from partial to total love of Him, from superficial to deep love, and from a love with mixed motives to a pure love. One of the best ways to transform our love to the highest quality of totality, depth, and purity is for us to be challenged to love our enemies. The Lord repeatedly allows people like Judas (Jn 13:21ff) to betray us and those like Peter to deny us (Jn 13:38). Then He commands us to love these enemies and to lay down our lives for them as He did. He gives us His grace to love the most unlovable. We thereby enter into the mystery of love and of life. Thank God for your worst enemies, for they are your best opportunities to grow in love.

Prayer:  Father, by obedience to the truth purify me for a genuine love (1 Pt 1:22).

Promise:  "It is too little, He says, for you to be My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." —Is 49:6

Praise:  Though repeatedly hurt by her husband's apathy toward her, Lynn continued to pray for him and forgive him until he died.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002