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Monday, October 4, 2010

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St. Francis of Assisi

Galatians 1:6-12
Psalm 111:1-2, 7-10
Luke 10:25-37

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the miracle of love

"You shall love." —Luke 10:27

Love means a total commitment to the Lord. We are to love Him with all our hearts (Lk 10:27). If we are totally committed to the Lord, we will love our neighbors as ourselves (see Lk 10:27). This means that we will not be apathetic but active in serving others, for everyone is our neighbor. Love is making a personal effort and incurring a great personal expense to show our love for our neighbors (see Lk 10:34-35). Moreover, love is even loving our enemies (Mt 5:44). In imitation of Jesus, we lay down our lives for them as well as for our brothers and sisters (1 Jn 3:16).

When we learn the true meaning of love, we conclude that love is humanly impossible. However, love is the essence of the Christian life, for God is Love (see 1 Jn 4:16). Therefore, we must ask the Lord to give us love. He is the only Source of love. "To err is human"; to forgive and to love is divine. Therefore, we can't "make love." We can only ask for it and accept it. Love is always a gift, always a grace.

Ask and you shall receive (Mt 7:7) the love of God "poured out in [your] hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rm 5:5). "We, for our part, love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19).

Prayer:  Father, give me the grace to love the person who has hurt me the most.

Promise:  "The gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I schooled in it. It came by revelation from Jesus Christ." —Gal 1:11-12

Praise:  St. Francis faced one whom he most detested and feared and discovered that God's grace is sufficient to love and serve any person.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010

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