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Friday, April 3, 1998

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Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
John 10:31-42

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"love your enemies" (mt 5:44)

"O Lord of hosts, You Who test the just, Who probe mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance You take on them." —Jeremiah 20:12

Jeremiah prayed not only for vengeance on his enemies but also that he would see it with his own eyes so he could enjoy it. If we're honest, we must each admit there is a Jeremiah inside us.

Jesus was persecuted much more severely than was Jeremiah. However, Jesus did not exact vengeance. He returned good to His persecutors and executioners (see Jn 10:32-33). He even gave His life for them in total, perfect, crucified love.

We have been baptized into Christ's death (Rm 6:3). "This we know: our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed" (Rm 6:6). "You were also circumcised in Him, not with the circumcision administered by hand but with Christ's circumcision which strips off the carnal body completely" (Col 2:11). God has given us "new life in company with Christ" (Col 2:13). Jesus runs our lives now, and our fallen nature with its vengeful desires is placed beneath Jesus' feet (see Heb 10:13).

In nine days, we will renew our baptismal promises. We will renew our new life in Christ. We will commit ourselves to live on a Christ-like, supernatural level: freed from vengeance, bitterness, and unforgiveness, and full of love, joy, and peace (see Gal 5:22). Pray and fast to prepare to renew your baptismal promises.

Prayer:  Father, give me the heart of Your Son.

Promise:  "In that place, many came to believe in Him." —Jn 10:42

Praise:  Pastor William forgave the man who shot him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997