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Monday, June 13, 2011

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St. Anthony of Padua

2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Psalm 98:1-4
Matthew 5:38-42

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loving to work

"As your fellow workers we beg you not to receive the grace of God in vain." —2 Corinthians 6:1

The Lord calls us to be active, pro-active, and zealous in working for Him (see Heb 6:10-12). The love of Christ impels us (2 Cor 5:14) to work harder for Jesus than any multi-millionaire ever worked to make his businesses more profitable. However, many Christians are not working much for the Lord. The harvest is great, but the workers always seem so few (Mt 9:37). What's the problem?

Christians are motivated and energized by love. To do God's work, we must possess God's love. When we stop loving, we stop working. In the midst of our work, we run into difficulties, persecutions, and enemies. We naturally feel like hating and retaliating. However, the Lord calls us to love our enemies actively and pro-actively. We are to offer them our other cheek, hand over our coats, and go the extra mile with our enemies (Mt 5:39-41). When we love our enemies like this, then the more enemies we have, the more work we do for Jesus. No enemy can stop God's work, but our refusal to accept the grace to love our enemies will certainly stop God's work. There are few workers in God's harvest because few people love their enemies.

St. Benedict said: "Pray and work." The Lord says: "Love and work." We should love especially our enemies, and pray and work for their salvation.

Prayer:  Father, may I put in a good life's work for you.

Promise:  "Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" —2 Cor 6:2

Praise:  St. Anthony lived in God's love and was always ready to serve God with zeal no matter how many ways God led him.

Reference:  (Gain the power to evangelize at our retreat Worship and Evangelization, June 24-25. Call 513-373-2397 for details.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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