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Thursday, September 11, 2003

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Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 150
Luke 6:27-38

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the distinctive mark of a christian

"To you who hear Me I say: love your enemies." —Luke 6:27

What if your family was a victim of a terrorist attack? What if your daughter was raped and murdered? What if someone robbed and beat you? Jesus tells us to treat terrorists, rapists, murderers, and robbers in a certain way. Jesus commands us to:

  • love our enemies (Lk 6:27),
  • "do good to those who hate" us (Lk 6:27),
  • "bless those who curse" us (Lk 6:28),
  • "pray for those who maltreat" us (Lk 6:28),
  • even remain vulnerable to our enemies (Lk 6:29),
  • give to them (Lk 6:30),
  • do to them as we would have them do to us (Lk 6:31),
  • lend to them "without expecting repayment" (Lk 6:35), and
  • be clothed in mercy and forgiveness toward all people, especially our enemies (see Col 3:12-13; Lk 6:36-37).

If we do so, we will heap burning coals of love on our enemies (Rm 12:20; see Lk 15:20ff).

To those not baptized into Jesus, His commands seem unjust, preposterous, and impossible, but Jesus died on the cross for His enemies. He literally practiced what He preached. He taught us to pray that we are forgiven as we forgive our enemies (Mt 6:12), and He promises us grace sufficient to forgive and love our enemies immediately and totally. By Jesus' grace, receive and perform the miracle of forgiveness and of love for all your enemies.

Prayer:  Father, give me a forgiveness and love unexplainable except in the light of Jesus.

Promise:  "Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christ's peace must reign in your hearts." —Col 3:14-15

Praise:  Pope John Paul II's forgiveness of the man who shot him prompted Joan to investigate the Catholic Church and convert to the Catholic faith.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003